Yea…. we did it! Taco and I finally completed an event together. That might not sound like a big deal to some, but Ive been treading on a thin line of enough training vs. sore feet since early this year. That sounds like a long time, and it is. Because he seems to rid himself of shoes more quickly than a bikini top at a frat party, this has been a challenging, wet spring. I have not been able to use our xc field with him because he can somehow find every mole hill in the field to remove those pesky shoes, no water schooling, no skinny schooling…. I did pop over a ditch, but that is it. So, needless to say, Ive been feeling slightly under-prepared for such a great event like Aspen.Taukalot and Meika SJ at Aspen
Aspen did not disappoint this year! The courses were reworked again, and it seems that every year us riders are treated to great arena footing and interesting courses. Thanks Jon, Suzy, Trav, Joe, Josh and Tremaine!! I especially liked the training course, it was a fun course for that level and I felt it included some interesting combinations to teach the horses skills that they will use at prelim and above.
My dressage was OK… not great. Kat Wildeboer took this video, and it appears that I need to liven up the gaits a bit. It was a bit sleepy at times and I think that Taco could be rounder at the canter. He was 6th after dressage with a 32, and that includes a mistake by me at the first canter work (yes, I forgot my course for a moment!). XC was GREAT… and even though Taco lost both shoes (yes both) I kept waiting to feel him tell me to pull up. I went incredibly slow, due to bad footing in the hay field and even trotted, but that was the right thing to do for him. Miraculously, we found both shoes and pads, got them put back on and iced, iced iced those feet. With vet, Mark Revenaugh’s approval, we continued with a very sound Taco. Amazing really, since the first shoe was lost near fence 3 and the other at fence 12. We are still monitoring his feet, but they are cold and without a troublesome pulse to indicate he is going to bruise. Maybe he is tougher than I thought? I sort of thought he might be a bit of a whimp, but I learned some great new stuff about him, most important being that he can finish an event after losing a shoe. So, after a cricket score of time penalties, we continued onto show jumping… his toughest phase. Taco is reactive, hollow, strong and yet still needs support. Not easy!
The round is the video at the top of the post. I was super pleased with him and amazed at the height that horse gets!! He is a freak of nature, and I thought that we negotiated some of the jumps well. There were certainly areas of improvement, and I want to try a hackamore on him. Maybe he could take advice from me with less reaction in his head and neck. I am so excited to move up to intermediate, he feels more than capable but we need a few more goes to get our juju knitted together!