This past weekend, Murphy and I traveled up to the Fork Horse Trials in Norwood, NC. Jim & Benadette Cogdell have the most beautiful farm I have probably ever been too. It is absolutely world class, the footing is unbelievable, and everything runs smoothly with the help of an amazing staff and a great group of volunteers. Needless to say, it is one of my favorite events. The original plan was to just come to the Fork to help some friends and bring Murphy as a non compete horse and take lessons with Jon Holling as he was there competing with two horses. But since Southern Pines showjumping didn't go as planned, I decided that it might be worthwhile to run the combined test to get as much practice as we can in the dressage and showjumping. Looking back is was a great tuneup for Ocala and just what I needed to focus on Murphy for next weekend. Thursday PM I had a great lesson with Jon and felt like we were able to fix a couple things for Friday. I had a very steady test with some great moments and of course there is still some room for improvement. Murphy's canter work was quite good with all 7, 8, and even a 9. The trot work is still a work in progress, but I feel by the end of the year, it will be scoring better and better. He scored a 36.4 and landed us in the middle part of a larger division.
Showjumping on Sunday was just what I needed to feel confident for Ocala. Murphy warmed up quite well, and I felt great going in the ring. I rode a steady round and really concentrated on my canter quality and rhythm. We ended up having two rails, one at the first, and then a vertical towards the end of the course. I have had experience with having the first rail down quite a bit, and I think Murphy gets somewhat distracted and I don't have the canter I need until later on in the round. With the vertical, Jon had made it clear to not jump not in the middle because the stripe was gray and blended in with the footing. Well I came around the turn, changed the canter and jumped the middle stripe. Opps. Overall I was pretty pleased and look forward to a good weekend at Ocala.
Today Lisa is coming out to give Murphy and Dillon a massage session before we head to Ocala. Dillon will go back to his owner after his 6 week training period tomorrow and Murphy and I will head to the Hollings for a jump lesson Wednesday afternoon and then to the horse park. Hopefully I will have internet and will be able to keep everyone updated on the CCI**.
"Be so good they can't ignore you" - Steve Martin