Posted by on Aug 15, 2011 in News | Comments Off on We’re Back!

We’re Back!

This past weekend reminded me why I event: the thrill of riding, the venues, the fun of improvement, and the community.  This past weekend, at Woodside Horse Trials, Ginger and I competed at our first event since April at the Twin Rivers CCI**.  I must say I was anxiously excited about the event.  Ginger is the fittest she has ever been and I am only hoping to get her even fitter.  This was definitely a twist in the game for us.  Dressage, which is normally our strongest phase, became our weakest phase.  The extra kick of fitness kept Ginger a bit tense during our test and scored us in ninth place.  The good news and likely story is that our warm-up was FANTASTIC, this strengthening and overall fitness work has turned Ginger into a totally new animal and given her the ability and strength to move like I have never felt before.  It is exciting for me to feel that there is more to unleash, which I am going to work my hardest to do before we go to Mexico.  Bea diGrazia, my coach, and I quickly agreed that the lack of showing in a dressage court for four months and the extra fitness was the source of the tense test and put together a schedule full of dressage shows and practices to work out these nerves.

After attending my two qualifying events in the spring, I felt great about going cross country…in May!, but now it was August and I hadn’t shown out cross country for four months!!  I was nervous with anticipation for Derek diGrazia’s course hoping that the confidence she received from our two stars would carry over.  Derek’s course was nothing short of technical, true intermediate size, and forward.  There were some great questions that I have never ridden before like an island in a water complex (jump down a bank, four strides in the water, up a bank, one stride on land, down a bank into water, five strides out over a narrow chevron fence).  I was excited to see how this fitness would play out while galloping.  She warmed up great and when we came out of the box, I had a sense of calm that allowed us to gallop the first few fences out of a galloping stride.  Each combination was easy for her.  She narrowed in on all of our outs and kept a big forward stride everywhere.  It was honestly the best cross country ride we have ever had.  The confidence and education she gained this spring along with the extra fitness gave me a horse that carried me through the cross country.  I was so thrilled and excited to feel that she is better than ever and that is what we have been working for this summer, the strength to jump easily through cross country.  The icing on the cake was seeing that we had the second fastest ride of the day and we had moved up to second place.  What an unexpected surprise, but just goes to show in eventing you can never give up.

In our final phase of stadium jumping, we decided to experiment with a new bridle, a bitless hackamore.  The course was difficult with varying stridings everywhere and square fences with no ground lines.  I felt this would be a true test to see if this bridle would be the ticket to a better jumping horse out in the show jumping.  Ginger jumped around double clean in her new bridle, which pushed her and I up into first place.  It was a thrill to win because it was so unexpected and I was definitely more concentrated on getting a good feel for how my horse was doing with all the changes in our work.  Our blue ribbon was a gift this weekend, and I was so excited.  All in all, I feel we are on the right track with Ginger and getting her prepped for the games, but the name of the game is fitness and dressage work from here.

A few of my students also attended the event and had a great weekend as well!  Cheryl Gentzler on Denali took first place in her Beginner Novice class and John Marshall on Cutamo was right at her heals in second place in the same Beginner Novice division!  Marta Tatabatai finished her first Beginner Novice on her new horse Dancing Diva who showed a great promise and a great drive during the show.  It was a very fun and exciting weekend for the whole LBE crew!

Two more updates!  Check out our most recent shot out on the US Eventing website for our upcoming trip the the Pan Am Games in an article written by Chelsea Vecchiarelli at the following link:  Lastly, if you haven’t seen already, I am holding a fundraiser for my trip to Mexico in October.  The event will be at the De Boer Royal Friesians Farm in Tulare on August 27th.  During the event, Ginger and I will demonstrate the dressage test we will compete in at the Pan American Games and a jumping course; there will also be a jumping calcutta, silent auction and dinner.  Please come and support Ginger and I at this event.  Tickets can be purchased online on the following page or contact me for more information.  I look forward to seeing many familiar and new faces at the event!

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

Lauren and Ginger