When you are at a horse trial, and your working student from Minnesota is shivering, you know it’s truly cold out…
Today was dressage day at Otter Creek. The 37 degree morning made for fresh, enthusiastic horses! I am so impressed that Otter Creek imported well respected dressage judge Brian Ross to judge today. It was an honor and a priviledge to ride in front of such a judge, and I for one couldn’t wait to savor every comment on the test and learn, learn, learn!
The Intermediate Division this weekend may be small, but it is mighty. Though I only saw bits and pieces, there were some really impressive rides. The leading scores in all of Mr. Ross’ ring’s classes are a bit higher than most HT, but don’t be deterred… There was some gorgeous riding today! I think the judge held a high standard and expected brilliance, which I loved… And I learn so much every time I ride in front of him. I’ll be studying the comments for weeks!
You can find live scoring here: http://www.evententries.com/livescoring/14818.html Nemo came out as the second horse to go this morning, and I was quite pleased. While there is still much more to come from this horse, he was quiet and workmanlike—which can be quite the challenge riding a redheaded OTTB in 37 degree weather! He tried and tried for me, and I was very happy with him. Hopper is on top of the world this weekend and is beyond exuberant, so after going for a canter set pre-dawn this morning, we just worked today to keep a lid on him. He can be far more brilliant, but today he was just uber fit and ready to go.
In review of the Intermediate Division, Jamie Price had two impressive rides on two very nice horses. Her second ride Overdraft was particularly impressive. Liz Lund’s Lady Hannah B is incredibly attractive, and looked terrific in the ring. I missed Cindy Anderson’s test while I was warming up, but that TB looks like it is an incredible jumping machine for the weekend. A great division!
There is still lots of work to be done and it’s anyone’s game this weekend… XC will be influential! I’ll include lots of cell phone pics of the course. They don’t do it justice… There is PLENTY to do out there, and some big fences to conquer. In the OI, you start out over a few tables before catching the big ditch and wall at #4, and the first water complex—a log drop to an otter–at 5AB. Then it’s through the full sunken road across the driveway (too cool!) and off to a rail/table/corner combination in the shade of the woods that should be very interesting. Next up is the new coffin (where the start box used to be), then a long gallop to two downhill narrow triple bars with brush. Afterwards, a long gallop to a logdrop in the water out over a skinny chevron, and quickly followed by a MASSIVE up bank onto a mound with a fence on top. The view from here is IMPRESSIVE as it overlooks the whole valley and is a long, long way down. Then to a double bounce bank down to a corner. A few gallop fences, then up a huge hill in the woods (picture the kind of hill you couldn’t drive a truck up) to a table at the top of the hill, then skiing down a very steep cliff to a toothbrush at the bottom. Yes, there is plenty to do out there, and time is notoriously unreachable at Otter Creek.
Enjoy the photos of the courses… If you’ve never been here, despite the long drive I’d encourage you to visit. The footing is terrific, and the courses are challenging at all levels and invite good, forward, bold riding. Is this the next Rebecca Farms of the midwest?
Well, I’m off to walk the course 10,000 more times. (It’s so strange to be at an event with only 2 horses and no students… We have 25 horses coming up at Midsouth Team Challenge HT!)
And a massive shout-out to my amazing WS and clients who are presenting our foals at the ISR/Oldenburg inspection today back home in KY! You guys are amazing—wish I could be there!
More tomorrow! Have a great d