Sprocket’s first recognized

Well, the day did not really go as planned but in the end, Sprocket did very well. Here is the quick recap. Will post a link to the show photographer’s site once she makes them live.

Got to Surefire over 3hrs before my ride times so I could coach Carly. She and Cal had a good dressage test before I got there and warmed up for show jumping well. They had a stop both in show jumping and cross-country but ended strongly.

By the time I got back to my trailer after coaching and walking my cross-country course, I was seriously over heating (it was almost 90-degrees and only 11:30 in the morning). Sprocket was not happy on the trailer for that long and had pulled the bars off the window on the door, broke the hay net and kicked it to the back of the trailer, had tried to break out of the trailer and kicked the ramp hard. He was coated in sweat and shaking. So, lots of hand walking, sponging, hand walking, etc until he was cooled down and sort of standing tied to the trailer.

I decided to get on him an hour before dressage with the plan to ride up to warm up, warm up till he settled and then go back to the trailer. Well, we mostly walked but never left warm up. By the time we rode our dressage I was shaking. He was his normal quiet self. Ok score but he wasn’t too keep on the deep footing on the edges of the ring and kept drifting in to find better footing.

Back at the trailer, I got him cooled down, loaded back on the trailer with fans. Then I threw up a few times and laid down with a fan blowing on my face and ice on my head and neck. Of course I should have just scratched but by the time my show jump times rolled around (an hour later), I was feeling normal.

Our show jump round wasn’t that great. He pulled the first rail, then I cropped him hard to the second and that one came down too. Then he picked his feet up higher but we were both a bit frantic. He was a tad fast, I just let him. I had very wobbly legs.

Back at the trailer again to put our xc gear on I figured I could muster enough strength to get through the five-minute xc course. The plan was to warm up and if I still felt wobbly or he was peeking at the jumps, I’d just retire. I did put mini spurs on (which I had never used on him before but figured I needed the extra bit of help). In warm up, there were eight riders before me so I just got off and stood in the tent with the warm up steward, who kept pouring ice water on my wrists. Then this random guy gave me a leg up. LOVE eventing folks. Everyone is so helpful! I had decided that I’d jump him over the warm up bench and if he was peeking, I’d just school the warm up fences and go home.

Of course he didn’t peek at all. He was forward and brave and perfect. So down to the start box we went and it just all clicked into place. He was awesome. Totally on his game, totally willing to jump what ever I asked, just perfect. The Tremaine Cooper designed course was fairly tough for BN with some crazy hills and turning questions but it rode very well. There was even this AB with a drop log blind turn down the hill to another log. Then there was a jump just across and un-flagged stream crossing (which Sprocket trotted, but I was ok with it cause he was just figuring out the footing changes). Then an actual AB half coffin, ditch first three strides to hanging log. Tremaine was one of the people I took my course design class with, and I could hear his voice in my head talking about why he put the half coffin on a turn and with a slight down hill to the ditch and it rode just as he planned. Also a ramp set off a turn half way down a hill so you had a downhill approach and a drop landing. Sprocket did trot through the water, but again, he is still a baby and that was totally ok with me. Nice jump over the final fence. Overall, just rocket it. We finished 5th overall.

Then I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get us home, stopping on the side of the highway to puke out the truck door a few times. HUGE THANK YOU to Scott and Margaret for meeting me at my farm and taking care of the horses. I literally parked the trailer, got out and sat in the grass with my head between my knees while they fed everyone and got everyone out for the night. Then I took a cold shower, followed by a hot shower and was in bed by 6:30, sleeping till 1 this morning. Finally able to drink something at 1, then back in bed till getting up for work.

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