Archive for June, 2008

Beech Grove Hunt

June 9, 2008

The alarm went off at 4:45 am. I hit the snooze button until 5, and
then JUMPED out of bed as Becca, my neighbor’s daughter & a rider, was
going to call any second. And she did- then she showed up – I hadn’t
seen her since she was maybe 12… she’s grown up! We got everything
ready, got Mere out of bed, drank a cup of coffee and poured ourselves
in my Land Cruiser to head to the stable, where my trailer & Thomas
were- and the other horses were… Sugar Love Buns, this adorable
cobby paint pony to be ridden by McKinnley, who I think is 10 yrs old,
and Legend, a big horse who is owned by one of Troma’s students and
was going to be ridden by Troma.

We got over there, hitched the trailer, loaded the horses- Tom in the
nose (tack room) of my stock trailer, the other two in the back. We
drove the 2 hours to Beech Grove and started the day. It was 88 by
the time we got there, quickly rising into the 90’s. But a good
breeze and low humidity. We were early and some of the first at the
cross country event- Beech Grove Hunt is absolutely gorgeous. Very
hilly with views to die for. It’s about halfway between Nashville &
Chattanooga. Near Boogher Hill, Hoodoo and Gnat Hill. I can verify
that we were close to Gnat Hill… I have the gnaw marks on my legs to
prove it!

Meredith, McKinnley & Troma tacked up (ok this was actually
accomplished by Becca, me and Honor, the teenager who owns Legend),
and they mounted up and went down the hill to the warm up area- Along
the way, the hounds started braying and Thomas’ ears perked up and his
adrenaline started pumping… You could actually hear him thinking
“FoxHunting! We’re going FoxHunting!” And he wanted to GO! Mere had
a really hard time keeping him focused and in place- it really shook
her confidence and Troma asked Becca to get on Thomas to try to
re-align his focus, but SHE had trouble with him. So we all decided
that Meredith wasn’t going to compete, unless she got her confidence
back. While we were making this decision, other horses showed up at
the warm up area – many people where having trouble, a few bought some
real- estate. Legend started rearing and bucking (Troma almost bought
real estate) after going over a jump, even Sugar Love Buns (I just
LOVE that name) gave a few bucks… This all served to solidfy our
decision to keep Mere safe-

That said, the gals all rode to the pre-novice area where Troma &
McKinnley were going to jump. Meredith stayed mounted for most of the
time we were there.

The first horse that went in refused every jump. The rider, a teen
who’d obviously been riding for a while, got him to his last few jumps
and he suddenly not only refused he also balked and off she went. It
was the scary horse eating watermelon jump. I only saw one horse go
over that jump without problems and it was another grey welsh pony.
That pony took the whole course at a canter with a 9 yr old on his
back, jumped everything cleanly and easily.

Troma was the first in our group to go- her first round was
HORRIBLE… Legend refused everything- he was convinced there were
trolls hiding in every jump. To Troma’s credit, she got him over
everything and when he started bucking, she stayed on. Think she
should try rodeoing! His second and third rounds were clean. He did
well.

McKinnley had a similar problem with Sugar Love Buns- she refused
every jump and McKinnley did come off at one point. Troma was in the
course coaching her over the jumps. 2nd and third rounds were better,
but Troma actually had to show Sugar Love Buns how to jump over a few
of the jumps.

Meredith almost got her confidence up, but to make sure we went back
to the trailer, and Thomas heard the hounds, saw the big horses off in
the distance and suddenly woke up again. And Mere lost her confidence
again.

We’re going back to the next one- If I can get my butt back in shape
and get Beamer, Rohan & Rune up to par, I’d love to take them and we’d
ride them –

Hope everyone had a GREAT weekend!

Vivi