On Friday my ride time was at 4:15pm. There was one pro going after me, but we’d be closing the course up for the night. I spent much of the day walking Georgie, cleaning tack and pacing.
Endurance day started with a ten minute trot. The course was not very interesting, that would be my ONLY complaint. Georgie was good but slightly on fire. Two big spooks at a very scary horse grazing and two gate judges. I’d rather a wound up horse than a dull one before steeplechase!
We did the ten minute course in 7:24 I think.
Waited for our steeplechase by pacing and some head throwing. But then we were off!
Time to complete: 3 min
Our time: 2:34. Whoops!
Well she wanted to run, and as phase C showed, she still felt a bit full of it. We passed the rider in front of us for our 18 minute cool down and I finally made her walk towards the end. We came in 6 minutes early which was not planned or what I wanted, but fighting with her would have taken more energy.
And then my amazing team took over. The vets took Georgie’s tpr as my team walked and cooled her. And I stressed instead of visualizing my course or sitting and relaxing. I knew Georgie was in very capable hands but it is so hard to wait to make sure she’s ok to continue and not be overbearing.
Georgie’s temp was a bit slow to come down which apparently is normal for the bigger boned horses but pulse and respiratory rate came to normal almost immediately.
We trotted over to the start box to make sure she understood we weren’t done. When they started the countdown from ten I started my watch and two seconds later a horse galloped up behind us to the finish. Georgie reared, spun and I could BARELY keep her in the box until I heard “have a good ride!”
Jump 1 was forward and amazing and maybe rearing in the start box is ok.
We got sticky to 4 as I couldn’t get her to get her head up after a downhill gallop and my minute marker went off way early. But I gave her a tap and we moved out and on. 6 was an abc combo with a log, down bank and then a skinny log on a bending line. Bam. Done no problem.
We had our groove. Some nice gallop stretches, a great log into water with a b element one stride out of water that was a skinny brush. Zero issue.
I was nervous about 12.It was a criss cross with a real corner four strides in a bending line.
We did it in 5 strides but it rode well and was zero issue
Lots more galloping
Then a fish in the water, a steeplechase jump and then a tough line to a roll top on a mound. Down the mound, through the water and one stride to another brush skinny.
At our last two fences we were ahead of our minute marker and she was full of go.
As I trotted after the finish flags I looked at Sarah and said “this horse is worth her weight in gold.”
We came in 20 seconds below OT and I was slightly embarrassed as I feel it’s really important to be as close to OT as possible for a long format. But we were hardly the fastest pair by a long shot and she felt good so I am letting the guilt go.
Then off I hopped, my team stepped in, saddle off, bridle off, and more tpr.
I helped cool her off and again temp was high but all other vitals came down quickly. After a couple minutes she was hardly breathing hard.
We were allowed to leave the vet check after about 10-15 minutes and Georgie had a good roll before a proper cool off bath. I had an AMAZING team who put my stuff away, got Georgie fresh water and hay and did so much I actually had time to clean my studs right after xc which NEVER happens! They ALL wore purple knee socks and shirts too. Best team EVER!
The night was spent walking and wrapping and making sure Georgie had plenty to eat. Another jog in the AM at 7:30 so lots of work to do before that.
Doing a three day was amazing. I recommend it to anyone going novice or training.Or anyone not quite ready to move up to prelim. You need a good team, a great horse and to be fit as well, but it is so much fun and being able to gallop steeplechase jumps is an experience in itself!
After xc we moved up to 8th which was awesome but I kept reminding myself a completion would be enough of a success. I’ll save stadium for our next post but obviously nothing here forward will be as exciting as endurance day 😉