Solo was wonderful at his first Prelim and is going from strength to strength. Even with a rail he finished 12th, and his cross country was superb!
It’s so nice to hear people say “What a beautiful horse” and ask us how he is bred and where he came from. Everywhere he goes he is attracting attention, even when he is merely being led at the walk. The good news is that he is attracting attention for all the right reasons. He was wonderful in his first Prelim. He only had one bad moment in the dressage where he was a little deep in the corner and knocked his outside hind ankle against the chain dressage arena. This gave him an understandable fright when it swung back against him. Even then, he recovered quickly and continued with his test, by far the most difficult he has done.
He did his Show Jumping the same day. Usually his star phase, he had a rail this time. His first course at that height and he was not in the least put off by the higher fences and tighter turns. If anything he was just a little quiet and casual off the ground and brushed the pole on the way down. He doesn’t like to ‘touch’ and was super careful for the rest of his round.
Next day he did his cross country and was absolutely wonderful. James loved him and said he was able to go really fast because Solo is so careful and easy to balance in front of the fences. They flew round and I have some video I will put up on YouTube for you all to be amazed at. WHAT A HORSE!!!! Everyone who has seen him on this Florida trip has been so complimentary, it’s as though we are finally being rewarded for hanging in through the tough stuff. I went to Longwood Farm (US Equestrian Team Training Centre) last week and watched Solo school XC with Selena. He still does a bit of right/left in front of some fences, but no concept of not going. He is SO bold into the water. Selena did a big solid Prelim question and he never hesitated – the question was a Prelim height black solid fence, one stride and off a ledge into the water. The first time through, although absolutely no question he was going, he jumped too high off the ledge and landed a little splashy in the water, the second time through he rivalled Colombo for smooth operation. Just eased his way over and in with a soft floating drop through the surface and tightly positioned front toes. Of course I sat there the whole time with my mouth open and never once managed to pick up my camera…..sigh
This weekend Selena is doing her first Prelim on him, our boy is getting there, slowly but surely. He is doing everything in his happy mouth snaffle and a cavasson noseband. The new goal is to qualify for consideration as a member of the Pan Am team 2011. We are nothing if not ambitious!!