Sunday, June 16, 2019

Fairhill Recognized Novice -- May 19th

Coming off the heels of his nosebleed issues and forced break, Scout came back into work hardly missing a beat and felt ready to tackle Fairhill. Unfortunately, the weather turned into a summer swamp the weekend of the event which definitely had an impact on a horse who had recently had some unintentional time off.


Not exaggerating about the dust! 
I'm just going to say for the record, that I don't love the dressage warm-up at Fairhill -- it's a tiny little bowl that's super dusty and if even one horse is acting up it gets really chaotic real fast. Scout came to the warmup flat-footed as usual but was definitely dull. The heat and humidity were certainly a factor, as was his recent time off -- so he lacked his usual spark. Nora did a super job livening him up a bit before they headed into the ring and I really feel like she got every last point out of him that she could for the day. It was a nice, obedient test, but was missing some oomph.

That's more like it


Starting to get the free walk finally

He's happy that's over, hahaha!

Despite his lack of enthusiasm, they still squeaked out a 31.90 -- A score I was pleased with, but in a division of all professionals, it put him in 8th after dressage. Overall, I was really pleased with his work ethic to go in the ring and get it all done. He never quits, and that is such an admirable quality in a horse.

And the thing I love (and hate) about eventing and the various division breakdowns, is that if he was in Open Novice B, he would have won his division (though the other two groups at much wider margins for dressage scores) -- very interesting!

After a break and a bit of a cool down, it was time tog et ready for stadium and xc. At Fairhill, this requires a long solo hack through the woods to the other side of the property (which can take some getting used to for greenies), there's also a stream to cross on the way! Unfortunately, SJ was running 45 mins behind and poor Scout had to stand around in the heat for over an hour waiting. We did complain to the officials, who told us that they had no way of letting anyone know (which is funny, because LOUD SPEAKERS) -- but I'll take every experience as a teaching opportunity and it was good practice in standing around and waiting his turn.

Ready to jump things

The long wait gave me time to watch a ton of horses go and Iw as really pleased with the course. They had expanded the space allotted and the course rode best on a big galloping stride, right up Scout's alley!

Being the best at waiting

There were a few combinations that I was concerned about, but nothing seemed out of the realm for a recognized event. I think the trickiest part of the course was the first few fences, a massive oxer with a dogleg left to vertical, and hairpin left turn away from the in-gate.

Scout felt like it was best to give the first fence PLENTY of space, just in case. 
The second fence came up quick, and he jumped it a bit green, but left the rails up (this fence caught quite a few riders).

On to the big combination on a course...

I believe this was a 4 stride to 2 stride
I thought he might get a backward coming into these, but they made him sit back and think, which led to him jumping them cleanly.

The second related distance on course, nailing it -- even if a little green still

Better through the out of the combination

And even though it was a galloping course, it had plenty of twists and turns to keep you thinking about balance and momentum. He had one unlucky rail at the skinny fence on course, but he jumped everything with a much-improved maturity and technique.

Last fence on course -- cleared it!!!!
I didn't get to walk XC this time, but it had a half coffin, water and a bank combo. He literally ate up the course, cruising around like it was a walk in the park! A beautiful double clear to add to his record and he came off the course feeling like a million bucks! And while he didn't look like he was going that fast, Nora said that at the second to last fence she realized she was over a minute under the time and had to rate him in order not to get penalties -- he just really covers the ground SO much!

So thankful for Nora and her whole team for bringing out the best in my young horse. I feel so lucky to have found her and Scout just adores her too! I'm so very proud of his attitude and continuing progress. It's really amazing watching this young horse blossom and develop.


  1. Love this post... but mostly I'm just commenting to say that I wish I had your hands in dressage!

    1. Those are Nora’s hands, but I agree... they are AMAZING!!!!

  2. its a shame nora is such a hideous rider. like, ew.

    she's doing a lovely job with him and hes such a great type, you have SUCH an eye for horses!!!

  3. I love Fair Hill but yes that dressage warm up is horrible and that hack over to CC is lovely if your horse is okay on his own. A few times Remus was sure I was taking him somewhere to shoot him rather than CC :) Also if you forget anything back at the trailer you are screwed (HA HA HA) so gald he did so well!! Congrats! What a good boy!

  4. Blah blah blah Dressage hahahah. What I love is how confident he looks coming over the last fence in Sj! What a great round for him. ;-)

  5. He is looking so grown up Niamh!