After getting home at 9:45 Monday night from Sport Horse Nationals, we had 3 days to ride the training horses AND get the 3 horses going to the Otter Creek Dressage show ready to go! We left homework for their owners on what to work on while we were at Sport Horse Nationals so they could be ready for the show. They all did their homework and the show turned out quite successful!!
We left at noon on Fri for Otter Creek Farm in Wheeler, WI. It’s about 45 mi. from Smart Start but takes about an hour plus to get there by trailer. It was absolutely beautiful there, the fall colors were in full force on the grounds. For those who don’t know, Otter Creek has a beautiful cross country course along w/ great footing in their dressage rings. Of course, just like the last time when we were there a few years ago for a schooling show in April it was COLD! When I post pics from the show on Facebook you’ll see us sitting outside the barn in the morning in the sun trying to stay warm. Had to break out the long Janes from the dresser to stay warm, bluck. At least it didn’t rain.
We took 3 horses to the show, Cayenne, JJ and Angelina. Since we were one of the first groups there we got our pick of stalls! We picked what we thought would be the warmest barn, and it was. We had the whole barn to ourselves, which was probably nice for other competitors as we have a tendency to spread out, hog the aisles w/ our horses, often leaving them standing freely in the aisle w/ the leads hanging down while we brush, saddle, etc. It’s what we do at home so we sometimes forget that’s not what others do and we have a tendency to make them nervous when they first see it.
Since we had been gone so long for Sport Horse we left Kris, Maureen and Lanie (the horse’s owners) to stay in the hotel and do all the feeding, stall cleaning, etc while we went home to sleep in our own beds. It was a bit like letting your kids be in charge while you’re gone overnight but they all went just fine.
The horses all did great! I rode Cayenne and JJ. JJ was in all training level (she is only 4 yrs old!) and she had to do training test 3 for the first time. It was funny as it’s quite different from training 1,2 & 4 and a few times she thought she knew where to go only to find out she didn’t. It made her pay closer attention to where I was “driving her” in the rest of the classes. She had great scores, all in the mid to upper 60s!
Cayenne had great rides too. She’s getting better in the warm up ring. Unlike her first show when she was flustered about it all and was sort of sucky warming up but went in w/ the attitude “I know what to do, watch me, I’m beautiful”, she’s getting this showing thing figured out and works hard to be as good in the warm up ring as she’s less worried about the strange horses going everywhere in the warm up ring and now when she’s goes in the ring now she’s even better. She LOVES showing! (Not to say she’s bad or anything in the warm up ring, she’s just not as confident so she’s not as smooth and flowing and sometimes forgets to carry herself). Her scores were also mid to upper 60s, she did training 4 and first 1 both days.
Lanie and Angelina were the ones who learned the most! This is Angelina’s first year showing and she’s still a green horse. Lanie did all the showing at this show! Kari coached them, helping Lanie deal w/ Angelina, making sure Lanie was the one “driving the bus” and by the second day Angelina no longer questioned Lanie and did what she was asked right away w/o question. Angelina’s so funny, she’s absolutely gorgeous so when she says “no I don’t want to go there” it is hard to take her too seriously. It’s sort of like a princess stomping her feet in protest. Lanie has learned so much this year and has learned how to effectively work with the horse to get the most out of it, Angelina won’t let her be just a passenger on the bus )
It was nice to have Smart Start horses dominate the show! Cayenne won all 4 of her classes, JJ won 2 and got 2nd in 2 (one of which was 2nd to Cayenne) and Lanie and Angelina got 2nds, 3rds and 4ths, one of the 2nds being 2nd to JJ. Way to go Smart Start!!!
Here’s the link to the show results: http://www.ottercreekfarm.com/Results/DressageResults/Fall%20Fest%20Results/October2010.html
The following is Kris’ impressions of the Otter Creek Show:
Impressions: it was a small show; the judge wasn’t lenient; the TD never left her car; the weather on Saturday was cold and blustery (Suzette gave her Canadian champion show jacket a good workout); despite frozen water lines, the weather on Sunday was perfect; the show grounds were absolutely gorgeous (JJ and I got to gallop around the cross country course); Rick was kept busy shuttling us back and forth in the golf cart and giving Lanie a hard time; John and Pat stopped by to cheer us on; and last, but not least, Lanie and Angelina closed out their first show season as a team and did a fantastic job!