Gallery Farm combined test recap

I know, I know, show recap posts are really only exciting for the person who’s writing them. But I wanted to let y’all know that a) Gina didn’t kill me and b) it went pretty well.

My ride times were pretty reasonable, with dressage at 11:20 AM and XC at 2:02 PM. This meant that while I did get up at 5 AM and get to the barn by 7 AM, it could have been much, much worse. Gallery Farm is near Oklahoma City, so it’s about a 2.5 hour drive from where the ponies live. We pulled out with Gina (who kept her socks super-white overnight) and Freddie (for company and experience) around 8 AM, and after many turns (and a couple of turn arounds), we arrived and parked next to our friends Rachael and Sarah.

Freddie about fell down getting out of the trailer, but recovered gamely and spent the next six hours standing tied to the trailer, eating hay and drinking/playing in the water buckets we had tied up for them.

Freddie’s happy place.

Gina (left) and Freddie (right) are unimpressed by shows.

Both mares seemed to get along reasonably well. Fred made a couple of ugly faces at Gina and also drank all of her water (while ignoring her own bucket), but was otherwise fine. No calling, no squealing, no kicking. Freddie is a champion at standing around. Maybe she’s missed her calling as a halter horse.

Anyway, dressage warm up went well- I kept Gina to a trot since it was a walk-trot test. Her gaits are plenty energetic, so I figured there was no need to canter. We stuck to figure-8s, circles, and serpentines and Princess Pony put on her best dressage face and we had a nice test. Our walk work was a little weird, as it seemed like Gina was less focused on me and more focused on what was happening outside the covered arena where the test was. All the trot work was very good and the judge was impressed by her “bold” and “forward” gaits. 
We scored a 29.3 on our test, which is something like the best score I have ever had in my adult life. (I think my best test was a 26 something when I was 12 doing walk-trot dressage.) We were in second to our friend Rachael, who scored a 25.3 on her super cute Percheron mare Venus, so I was definitely happy.
Walking the course made me feel good about my chances of getting Gina around. If you aren’t a long time reader, a little history: Gina has been a problematic jumper in the past. Occasionally, she’s excellent. Most of the time, she’s awful. Past antics have included rearing up and backing at ground poles, dirty refusals at a crossrails, and jumping 2’6 oxers fine for five minutes, then inexplicably pitching a fit.
The only jump I was mildly concerned about was a tire jump. The tires were tiny- lawnmower sized. But they were black, I’m almost certain Gina’s never jumped any tires before, and I immediately planned to keep my leg on and ride defensively.
I shouldn’t have worried. After an extremely short warm up (by which I mean we cantered both directions and jumped a crossrail twice), we headed out on course. I got Gina into a nice, forward canter; even though the jumps were tiny, I feel more comfortable jumping out of the canter and Gina’s canter is much more comfortable to 2-point than her trot. 
Rio 2016, amiright?
Gina was apparently gearing up for next year’s Rolex, because she attacked those tiny jumps. Like, rolling along at a good clip, taking good distances, not backing off anything. I could feel her lock on to each jump, which is certainly not something I’m used to feeling from her! She jumped like a champion over every single fence and cross the finish line prancing and snorting as if she’d just bounced around a 4-star.
What a fruitcake.
Draft power!
Rachael and Venus went clear too, maintaining first place, which meant Gina and I stayed in second.
Bonus pic of super cute Rambler & Sarah, who were 3rd in the Starter division.

I’m really pleased with how Gina behaved. I think she had a good time- I know I did. There’s an eventing derby in a couple of weeks- Fred is getting some time off, so maybe I’ll enter Gina. And maybe we’ll even move up a division (or two)!

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

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