Redhills was if anything an improvement from last year and I great wake up call. Conor and I left early Thursday morning and after a 6 hour trailer ride, we settled the horses in and went off to catch the rest of the riders coaching meeting with David O’Connor and Leslie Law. I was very impressed with David and think he has all the skills and ideas to take this country to the top. Leslie clearly has the riding ability and I believe his experiences in the UK would make him a good candidate as well. Either way, I am really excited to see either of these individuals rise to the position. We finished off the evening with a nice evening at the Bonefish sponsored party! My favorite!!!!!
Friday Murphy did his dressage test in the morning. After a lesson with Jon on Thursday PM, I felt I had a good idea of what I could expect out of him. He was very good in the trot work and in the places he is usually quite good, he was a little tense. I do believe that we are on the right track to a competitive test at the CCI** at Florida in a couple weeks. He ended up on a 38 and was tied for 7th going into cross-country.
The course country course was very different the last year with some great new combinations. Murphy continued his great start to the season with a good clean fast cross-country ride to finish with just four time penalties in the Intermediate. I did feel he was very strong though and I had to do more setting up the I am use too, so we may be working on galloping at speed soon to get back control. But where he needed to pay attention, he was very good. I have been really excited recently with my showjumping as Murphy has had two clean rounds at his first competitions out this year and I felt we were on track to go in and have a great round. Well that isn’t exactly what happened. He warmed up pretty well although I felt like I really had to focus on moving his shoulders. Well first jump was good and we then turned right downhill to a large oxer. I went to bend him through the turn and he just dismissed my aids, came off the line I saw and I missed badly at the 2nd fence and on the brakes went. As many of you know this started to become a large issue last spring so it was a little disconcerting. After a good 15 seconds or so of Murphy propping, it was all I could do to get him to go forward and back on track to jump the 2nd fence. He was then very strong and was galloping less the ideally around the stadium track. He ended up with two rails and some time dropping him from 4th to 8th. I am obviously very disappointed but I do feel like there is more going on then what we are seeing. I have been really good this spring about keeping him feeling good through acupuncture; massage therapy thanks to Equinox Equine Massage Therapy and Lisa’s generous help, and some chiropractic adjustments. Dr. Beshear is thinking we may be dealing with a bone issue in his back so we did some shockwave therapy and if an improvement is seen, Murphy may be taking a trip to the University for a bone scan. So we are home safe and sound and will take the next to weeks to work on parts of the dressage test and maybe head to a jumper show to get some practice in the ring.
"Be so good they can't ignore you" - Steve Martin