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Monday, July 27, 2009

The long awaited RAAC post

ST, Final & Pat Adams of Yarra Yarra
Sorry, sorry! I know I've been delinquent in my post but we've been sooooo busy.

The RAAC was a total blast! It was held down in Menlo Park so we thought, "ahhh Bay Area, the weather will be wonderful and cool." NOT! It was sweltering! Although it was only 90 (we're used to 100) it was humid and muggy. Ewe! I'll take 100 and dry over 90 and muggy any day. RAAC stands for "Regional Adult Amateur Championships." It's like a primer for the CDS & USDF Regionals, a championship show on a smaller scale. Last year was the first year it was held so we figured, "why not check it out?"
Happy hour in the Quidditch Cup field
We arrived on Friday afternoon and set up camp in the big open field that was the horse stabling and trailer parking. Scott thought it looked like the Quidditch Cup scene from Harry Potter. I have to agree, it did! Just picture 4 rows of horse stalls in a big open field surrounded by horse trailers back in a little valley. Very cool! So we unloaded Final, got his stall all set up and decided it was still too hot to ride. We found a market down the road that had a wide cheese selection, lots of beer and English shortbread biscuits to boot! So we picked up some snacks and headed back to the "field" where we sat in the shade of our trailer and had happy hour. It was delightful. And yes this is the reason I can't loose that last 15 lbs - I love cheese and beer. I would be very unhappy without those two things.

Once it cooled off and I was "happy" after mmmmm beer, Mr. Final and I went for our warm up to check out the arenas. In true Final fashion, he didn't care much about being in a foreign arena, although the woods surrounding the Quidditch Cup field were super scary. Lions and tigers and bears oh my. We don't have a lot of trees where we live, so forests are FREAKY! But he got over it and went on his merry way. He felt super so I was very excited about the prospects of the weekend. Just hoping it would be cool for our rides on Sat morning and then Sunday afternoon.
A "happy" warm up.
Saturday morning was a little hectic. I didn't ride until 11 and I took a little too much time getting ready. Final doesn't need much warm up (20 min tops) but I forgot his show number, then I forgot we had to walk all the way around everything to get to the warm up, then the water trucks came in to water, etc, etc. So I got a little uppity and so did he. He's a very sensitive horse so you have to keep your feelings hidden from him. So I had to lie to myself that everything was okay so he too would believe the lie.

Luckily the warm up went well but I didn't even have enough time to trot, so I warmed him up at the trot as I was circling the outside of the court before they rang the bell. When I got into the ring he felt great through all the trot work. Then came the canter. He totally took over like a possessed beast. At least that is what he felt like. I felt like he was careening out of control and I was just hanging on for the ride. His pirouettes felt like rodeo spins, I was sure he didn't get one single clean change because it didn't even feel like he had feet. Luckily Scott said it didn't look bad. After a quick video review, I determined Scott was right once again. He's very astute at this horse show stuff. And he was right about the score as well - 64% and 1st place. That is awesome for Final who just until last year didn't have a clean change in him let alone 3 tempi's and 4 tempi's. Eva and I joke that if we ever want to go pro, we'll open up a facility that specializes in flying changes. We now know every trick in the book!

Sunday presented a whole different concern - we rode at 4 pm in the heat and humidity. I wanted to work on a few things before the class but I had to be careful not to wear out my partner. Because of my angst, Final was once again a bit uppity. And I was having a very difficult time lying to him. The warm up went ok, but he was definitely tired. And there were two horses in my class that I knew would be hard to beat so I was going to have to go for it. All was well until the extended trot when I went for it and he cantered. Eva said he was really going too. Bummer, I got greedy and it didn't pay off. And then came the canter tour. Again, the beast from within came running out of him. Only this beast was tired and hot so this time the pir's really were rodeo spins and the changes really weren't clean. The winning ride was a 70+%, reserve was a 66%, but we earned a respectable 62.9% which placed us third overall. Not bad for our first RAAC, rodeo spins and all! More lessons learned, more dirst under the boots and another notch on the belt - maybe someday I'll get this down to an exact science... not likly!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Had kind of a messy ride today but still pulled off a 62%. Placed 3rd overall for RAAC 4th level.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

At Regional Adult Am. Champs. First test went well 64% and 1st Place. Champ class is tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

70.9%, the Pewter Loving Cup and Amigo's first outing

4th level Pewter Loving Cup perpetual trophy
It finally happened! After a year and a half of riding the para tests, I was able to secure a 70.9% on Eva's horse Final! At Pebble Beach no less! This is a huge milestone for Team MP, even though MP didn't get to participate. Although I'm sure she's happy her wingman Final pulled through.

I have to say that the test felt amazing. It was flawless and Final was spot on with everything I asked. You may remember that I'm riding Final right now because his mom (Eva) became a "human" mom two weeks ago when she gave birth to Isabella Beverly King. Even though she is new to the whole human mom thing, she still made it down to Pebble to watch her boy Final go and boy did he go.

The "Tri-Wizards Cup" according to Scott
In addition to the 70.9%, Final also won three 4th level classes, secured almost qualifying scores for championships AND won the Pewter Loving Cup class. The Cup is amazing (Horse-show-husband calls it the Tri Wizards Cup because of its size) and Final and I will have our names engraved on it. Very Cool! You can watch the winning ride here.

The weekend proved to be yet a third milestone, where Amigo (aka Adonis) had his first big boy outing and was shown by Katey Augsburger at training level. Turns out that he was bred to show and wasn't even phased by a big show like Pebble. He even won one of his classes and scored 8's on his gaits. Not bad for just coming 4! Amigo has been at Ellen's being ridden by Katey for the past two months. As you can see, she has done a fantastic job with him! You can watch his video here.

Amigo's first test in his first show
Team Eckstein was large and in charge with 8 horses and seven riders showing from training level to fourth level. Ellen had full days, but we all did really well and hopefully lived up to the Team Eckstein expectations! Thank you Ellen!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Anothe win today at 4th level. On our way home will have pics and video and more to say later!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Won 4th level Perpetual Trophy at Pebble Beach on Final! Yippee! Horse show husband says it looks like the Tri Wizard Cup.

Friday, July 3, 2009

At Pebble Beach dressage rode two tests today the Para IC and 4th level. Finally broke 70 with the para - got a 70.9. Yippee! Got 64 on 4-2 with a few bobbles.