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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

KWPN NA Third Level Amateur of the Year!

MP being Dutch landed us this award. I have to send a photo into USDF for the Yearbook. This one's for you Federica! And Dan and Katy too as it should help your breeding program. I think we get some stuff with this honor as well.

Markel Insurance Amateur Rider Challenge Reserve Champion!

I just found out that, for third level, I am the Reserve Markel Insurance Amateur Rider of the year! Yippee. I think that means we get leather halter in addition to a cooler. You all know how much I like to win stuff.

The long awaited Championship Blog

Sorry it has been so long. All is very busy here in the wonderful world of Winters.

The Championships were great! We all had such a fab time and we all did really well. To see the photo's from the annual show click here. All were taken by Scott Stanley.

My week started off great, then went bad, then went back to great. My warm up class and USDF freestyle class on Thursday were nice rides. Except MP was a little spooky especially in my freestyle ride. She still hasn't gotten over the sound system screeching from CNDC in Sept. But my tests were good enough to earn my a 2nd place and a third in two big classes. And the freestyle class had pros and matures in it so I was very happy.

Friday brought a different set of circumstances. It was windy, I got nervous and I paid for it. I didn't properly pin down my stock tie so right after I halted and saluted it flew up and hit me in the face. And also spooked MP so she lurched forward. First boo boo. Then I got so flustered by my stock tie that I went the wrong direction at C and started riding the wrong test. Big boo boo, minus 2 points. Then as I was doing the walk work I tried to fix my tie and over shot the letter I was supposed to walk to. Third boo boo. Then in the canter work I started half passing too late. Fourth boo boo. So needless to say I rode a crappy test and my score showed. I think I received a 62% on that test. That placed me 9th in the semi final.

The day being a disaster ended with one final disaster in the way of my CDS freestyle. The wind really picked up and the judges tent was flapping. So I could only ride in the lower 3/4s of the court. This made my timing off with my music so it wasn't pretty. I placed 7th overall in the class. Oh well!

Saturday was a new day but the pressure was still getting to me. The fact that you only have one chance to ride these tests meant that I over analysed everything to my own detriment. My USDF class on Sat started off well, but I rode conservatively and then when it came time for the halt rein back, I blew straight through it. Minus 2 points. But the test was good, and I felt good about it. I watched Eva's test and she did the same thing so we were declared the no halt rein back queens. Even with the errors and conservative performance I placed 5th and Eva placed fourth, so we got to ride in the honor round together. That was fun!!

When I woke up on Sunday I could tell that it would be a good day. For the first time that entire weekend, I felt confident. When I was tacking up, warming up and then right before I entered the arena I had a clear tactful mind. I knew what I wanted MP to look like and I knew how to ride again. The test was great. Besides a few little things like not halting square, the test was darn near as good as it could be. Everyone else thought so too. The test was the final for the CDS Championship and it was good enough to move us up from 9th to 7th.

The rest of our groups did great as well. Katie D was the USDF 1st level Champion and was Reserve Champion for CDS. Katie A placed 7th in the CDS Championship class and Eva placed 9th. We had a blast and many of our family members and friends joined us. I can't wait until next year!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Post is coming!

I swear - I'm just exhausted and need to get everything organized. I had all plans to blog each day but that was wishful thinking. More to come about champs......

Friday, October 10, 2008

First scores are in.....

Yesterday was a great day! Eva and I had our 3-2 warm up class first thing in the morning so the horses were nice and fresh. The class was big, 15 horses and riders. Eva's test was super except for a few bobbles which cost her a few points so she got a 62% and 5th place. My test felt really good, just a few things need improving for the Championship class which begins today. I got a 64% which landed me in the reserve slot. Not a bad start!

Our USDF Region 7 3rd level freestyle class was yesterday afternoon and there were 9 rider and horse combinations. The freestyle classes are not divided into ametures or pros, we are compete against each other so the competition is stiff. MP's warm up was great. She felt the best she's ever felt, but when she got in the ring she got a little spooky and tight so I had some bobbles. Even so I earned a 69% which placed me third for the regionals. Not bad for our first year out! The awards ceremony is today so I'll have pictures from that later.

Our other barnmates are doing well also. Katey A with Andy had a good ride, but there was a demon squirrel at the end of the arena that gave him the spooks so he was obedient but tight in his ride. He'll do better today. Katie D an Willoughby had a fantastic ride and got first place in the warm up class!! The class was huge so that is quite an accomplishment. Both Katies will start their championship classes today along with Eva and I.

Above: Katey A & Andy; Below: Katie D & Will

Today we start the first half of the state championships. We ride 3-2 today and 3-3 on Sunday. I also have my state championship freestyle class so think good thoughts.

3-2 warm up click here
USDF Region 7 3rd level Freestyle click here

Thursday, October 9, 2008

We're here!!!!!

The show grounds

We made it! All three trailers rolled into the LA Equestrian Center yesterday around 1:00 and then we feverishly unloaded and set up camp. After that I had to get ready because my freestyle warm up was scheduled for 4:45 and I wanted ample time to cruise the venue.

That is a lot of stuff!

The horses took priority

Camp almost set up

There are four of us from team Eckstein showing. Eva and me at third level and Katie D and Katey A at first. Ellen will be coaching us all weekend. Yesterday was just the warm up but today the show starts. I have one of my freestyle classes this afternoon. I'll do another blog and report on that later.

Looking fab
MP was a little spicy during the warm up on Wed. She actually kicked up her heels a few time which made me laugh. But she feels super. She definitely has her game face on.

MP feels good

There are some incredible horses here. The competition is stiff and there is a lot of it. Our class has at least twenty riders in it which for dressage is a lot. But it is wonderful to be here with our good friends and I think our horses all look fabulous!

The Katie/ey's with the view

To watch my freestyle warm up click here

Monday, October 6, 2008

Paso de Robles.......

Famous sunsets
We're here at Ellen's and things are going fabulous. We got here yesterday in time for a little group ride and needless to say it was not little. There were 6 horses in the ring and we were all trying to get our groove on. It was tons of fun a great to have the group back together.

Today we had actual lessons and just tried to fine tune everything. Here's a little video. LA here we come......

Odie and her new man

ST & MP cruzin'