2008 was a wild ride. I started this year in Texas and 169 blog posts later, I am in New Hampshire, on my own farm. In January of 08, I was free jumping Brego to see if he could even clear a 3' oxer. At the end of 08, I showed him over 3'3" and regularly schooled 3'. In January of 08, I had my 7th dressage lesson ever and we were learning leg yields. Now, I am schooling walk-canter transitions. And if you really want to go back, this picture (March 07) continues to show how far that big horse has come.
Other highlights include the capturing of the most perfect moment (now my Blog header). Learning to gallop (now my blog footer). Our first blue ribbon (dressage). Our first blue ribbon (combined training). Questioning whether to continue with eventing with all the rider/horse deaths. Our first triple combination. Our first (intentional) flying change.
Pros and riders with big talent may bring them along faster, but I am very proud of the progress Brego and I have made this year. And at a young (read: immature) seven, Brego has plenty of life left to get us to our goals.
Goals for 2008:
- Compete and complete a USEA recognized event. Done. First after dressage and show jumping but dropped to third after xc because of time faults. We went slow our first time out. NO JUMPING PENALTIES! Woot! Not even a rail in show jumping.
- Get 70% or better on a training level dressage test. Didn't quite make it. Lots of 69.5% and first places at schooling shows.
- Compete and complete a USDF recognized show. Nope. Didn't make it. I am still researching where they are in this region.
- Join a Fox Hunt. Done and done. I loves me some fox hunting. Although we didn't get out much this year, I rode first/second flight and jumped. Brego was a star.
Goals for 2009:
I've got a couple of challenges for 2009. The last time we jumped a course, we had a pretty magnificent fall. I've got some rebuilding of skills and confidence to overcome. We had a fun injury to the left hock which appears to be completely healed but the residual weakness may not become apparent until we are back in heavy training. Finally, Brego is now at home without a proper training facility. We are able to school at the neighbor's property so hopefully it will not be too much of a detriment. So without further ado, what is in store for Brego, the International Horse of Mystery, 2009?
- Qualify for the American Eventing Championships in Lamplight, IL. I need one more top five finish at a recognized event. This is a pretty competitive area so it will mean another event with no jumping penalties. Tough, but doable. Even if we qualify, I am not sure I can go, depending on work. But I will do everything possible to bring Brego to 'represent' among the likes of O'Conner, Dutton, and of course, Gogo. Plus, Max will be there with Karen and she loves the Brego. She will be so proud of us.
- Compete and complete at the Area 1 BN Championships. We are already qualified, we just need to show up and ride well.
- Get 70% or better on a dressage test. Left over from 2008. I think we can get there, even with Brego's unconventional gaits.
- Compete in Training 3 and 4. So far, I have just done the 1 and 2 tests. Time to break out that stretchy trot.
- Show Dressage First level. No score tied to this one. Just ride it and smile.
- Compete in Jumpers Level 1 class. Do the Jumpers for real. No placing. Just ride it and smile.
I hope everyone has a successful and safe 2009. Keep loving the horse you have and they will carry you far.