The last and final blog entry is now upon me. I have to say THANK YOU everyone for all of your support. I am now back in my bed in Virginia and wanted to make sure everyone got filled in on how Bromont wrapped up.
First, we passed jogs. Whew! I then was primarily concerned with learning my stadium course and not skipping a fence. Trance is a strong show jumper, so as long as I didn’t mess up the course I knew we would get our first CCI2* done. The course walked well, and I had all these great plans of which distances I would take and how I would manage his canter.
As soon as I got on I realized I had one tired horse. We only did four or five warm-up fences, because he just didn’t have a lot of power to spare and was jumping great. His canter in warm-up was a lot of work to manage, but I figured he would jazz up a bit in the ring and I could nurse him around. The course was riding pretty abysmally before me. I had the fortune of seeing two stops and a fall before I went in, so was just trying to stay calm and remember the order of the fences. I went in and started, and immediately realized that his canter was retreating to all of eight feet a stride. I tried to stay calm, as he was jumping like a deer (see fence four), but then we got into the one stride to two stride double combination, and things got confusing. We jumped in and he took two strides. All I could think was “Hrm, I think we just put two in a one..that is unfortunate…” But..he cleared it! So I just started kicking harder and, when that didn’t help much, also took to flapping my arms. When in doubt, ride like a cowgirl I suppose! We had a rail at fence seven when I saw a spot three strides out, asked him to build to the giant oxer, and he did not respond a hair. So we were on a messy distance but he jumped anyway…bless his heart. The last line had given people the most trouble, but by then I was cropping his shoulder and flapping my arms more, which somehow got him in front of me so we finished with the five strides to the oxer where many had five and a chip. I was so proud of my little deer jumper and his sore hind end! Here is a video Ecogold posted of the round:
All in all I couldn’t be happier with my weekend. We only added 17 or so points to our dressage score, and got a qualifying CCI2*! He is the horse of a lifetime, and I am thrilled to get to ride and love his little cob sized face everyday. My dad passed away a few years ago, and the last time he saw me compete was in the North American Young Riders Championships on Trance in 2005, right before Trance was injured in hurricane Katrina. When I finished my two star at Bromont I just couldn’t believe it had been six years since NAYRC, and that Trance was not only back….but I was too! For so long I just didn’t think I would ever compete again, especially at the upper levels. It was great to make a comeback to the sport as an adult amateur and on Trance. While “Mama Linder” was there to be the BEST show mom ever and cheer me on in person, I knew dad was there too. Trance is part of our family, and brought all of us into this sport together. Once you’re in, there is nothing like the eventing community and the “family” it provides to all of us.
As for the future, we are planning to stay at Intermediate longer, more for me than for him. I still think those cross-country fences were huge (even after he flew over them without a hitch), so definitely plan to run Millbrook Intermediate and the CIC2* at Richland. We will head to the Nutrena/USEA American Eventing Championships in September, then who knows! If I am feeling wild and Trance has anything to do with it, we might be aiming for Bromont again next year. I will, as always, be taking each day at a time and just loving every minute of it.
Bromont was a wonderful event, with an AMAZING course by Derek and great footing. It will be a place I always remember fondly and an event I always aspire to attend.
Thanks again to Skyeler Icke and Sallie Spenard for putting up the horribly exhausting process of training me, to Brian Grady for keeping my horses sound and their shoes gorgeous, to Dr. Nolan of Piedmont for giving me Trance back and keeping him going, to my husband James for keeping me positive and sane, and most of all to my mom, Diane ”Mama” Linder, for just supporting all the absurd ideas I come up with and the crazy places I drag her off to every other weekend.