Monday Oct 9

It poured like crazy thanks to hurricane Nate. So we didn’t get away from home till about 10:15 a.m. It was one of those trips that ends up dragging on a bit due to small set backs.

First I forgot my iPod, which I decided to leave and have sent via Fed Ex to me. I know that sounds a bit extreme, but listening to books helps me pass the time and helps with nerves. Then the vet wanted to see me at the boarder. Even though we’re on temporary papers….sigh.

There was a car in the centre of 81 near Syracuse on its roof! The accident must have happened a few minutes before. We luckily got past before the traffic became a jam. The next problem was at a truck stop on the turnpike where only one diesel pump was working so there was a line up.

Woody and Sweetums.

Woody and Sweetums.

One exit missed added an extra 11 mins. A nice ending to the trip though; for once we got the last bit of the drive correct on roads that are trailer worthy.

Arrived at Chesterland and Woody got the same stall as before, so that was nice. Plus Sweetums was there to greet us. After a quick meal at Landhope, we got to stay at Bruce’s amazing house. Thank you so much to everyone at Chesterland for making us feel welcome.

Tuesday Oct 10

Woke up to a beautiful day at Chesterland. AM and I got to ride some of Bruce’s young horses with him on a hack around the corn fields. The local wildlife made it exciting! Once we got back to the farm AM jumped Hope around the cross country logs beautifully. Hope looks like she’s been doing it for years, with her ears pricked in a perfect balance getting a great distance to every jump. It’s so fun to see them grow up and become incredible athletes.

I tried to emulate those two with almost 100% success. I still managed to choke Jelly to the base of one of her jumps and she just takes care of me and jumps her way around it. Then I got to do the three steeplechase fences in a row and she felt awesome.

AM rode Jubilation on a hack with Bruce on Jiff while I warmed up Woody on the flat. Once they came back I watched Bruce coach Fanny over fences on her horse Bee. Such a pretty OTTB with tons of scope. They make a great partnership.

Woody was super. It was very warm and he has quite a furry coat at the moment. We’re not going to clip him until after his test at Fair Hill. Otherwise he might be a little fresh and cheeky.????

AM & Woody exploring.

AM & Woody exploring.

We packed up and headed to Fair Hill around 2:30 p.m. It’s only about 45 minutes away from Bruce’s in the trailer. Jessica P was arriving around 3:00 p.m., so we wanted to meet up around the same time. We’re in an aisle together (we always request them) plus Ronald Z, Nilson M and Annick. There are a few more in our aisle, but, I apologize, I don’t know their names. Anywho it’s a fun aisle that’s for sure!!

It was so hot and humid we just hand grazed Woody and went to a Mexican restaurant with Jess’s crew for dinner.

Wednesday Oct 11 at Fair Hill

Started the day off right with a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee cake muffin. If you have not tried one, do…they are delicious and you can eat one no matter how nervous you are. Always good to know what you can eat when your nervous because you have to eat to compete. Then off to the horse show around 7:00 a.m. to feed the Woodster.

I got on at 9:00 a.m. and walked for 30 minutes watching everyone ride. I trotted him a little both ways and he felt great so I took him back to the barns for AM to beautify.

10:00 a.m. riders briefing- nothing too much to add there.

Jog started at 1:00 p.m. with the 2* horses then us. We were almost last to go. He looked lovely even with all that fur. He behaved fairly well for Woody at a jog. He slowed a bit heading towards the decorations at the turn around end of the jog strip. Then once I turned him around he spoiled and leaped like a boogie man was behind him. Luckily he didn’t step on himself or me before we regained some of our composure and finished the jog nicely. Accepted!
Phase one complete.

I schooled dressage after the jog. He felt super! I had AM take some video for review. He feels more supple and the movements come easier for us. Now I just need to maintain elevation and suspension for that added sparkle that the judges want to see to be at the top of the leader board. ❤????????????????

At the Doug Hannum equine therapy dinner.

At the Doug Hannum Equine Therapy dinner.

I took a walk around the Fair Hill course after I rode. I’m glad we’re getting a bit more rain currently, plus they will aerate, I’m sure. It’s a beautiful course with great flow and breather fences in between all the tough questions. It’s going to be fast ground I suspect and a test of fitness. (10 minutes is the optimum time.)

Woody will be getting clipped after dressage so he should feel light and fast for xc day????

Dinner tonight at Fair Hill was curtesy of Dougie Hannum, APF (Auburn Laboratories), Nuppafeed and Respond systems. It was delicious and the live band was fantastic! Dougie has been helping our horses feel their very best since my mum was eventing at this level. He is family to me and we couldn’t perform at this level without him.