Here there be dragons...

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GRS goes to Foxcroft CT

Amazing day at Foxcroft today!

Spoiled by a load time of 8am :)  Then super-tight times with five riders doing three phases in less than three hours.  No problem.
Emily and Charlie in dressage
Rowan on Lissy and Emily on Charlie were on with tons of time to warm up for dressage.  Charlie was a little high at first, but soon became his usual "dressage is boring" self.  I was really happy with both their tests -- accurate and rhythmical.
Discussing the oh-so-scary ditch -- which they all jumped flawlessly!
The other girls (Brena, Rebecca and Victoria) brought their horses (Bella, Athena and Nina respectively) over to dressage where all five horses were left with their awesome grooms (Barb, Chelsea, Kennedy, Laura, and Olivia) so we could go walk both courses.  XC course walk was first and I was really excited about it.  Wish I'd had Lexi with me -- what a great baby run!  Totally inviting :)   I chatted with Nicholas who was supervising XC and he let me know that we could do the schooling round as an actual school -- so I'd be able to take the girls in as a group and coach them through it before sending them out on their competition round.  Perfect!
Walking stadium
We got to show jumping with just enough time to walk it -- also a super friendly and inviting course.  Sweet. Steph took Rowan and Emily back to get ready for stadium, while I worked with the other three riders getting ready for dressage.  I got to see the two girls jump from the dressage warmup right about as Rebecca was about to go in the ring for dressage :)   Both Rebecca and Brena were riding their first off-property test ever and they did a great job!  Victoria and Nina have a little more experience in dressage but it's still fairly new :)  Nina was being far more quiet than Victoria expected -- awesome mare!
Emily and Charlie in stadium
As soon as they finished dressage they went to switch tack to warm up for show jumping with Steph.  At the same time, Rowan and Emily were heading to XC, so I went to meet them for their warmup.  It was so much fun!  Our course only opened this weekend, so it's been a while since I've gotten to teach XC -- and just like riding it, it's my fav phase to teach too :)  They rode so well!   Up and down the bank, over the ditches, and jumping everything I asked them to on the first time!  Woohoo!   I didn't have them jump the entire course, just enough to get the feel for it and then we went back to start box to do it for real.   Rowan was first out and basically showed us how it's supposed to be done :)  She and Lissy were absolute superstars!  Woohoo!  Then it was Emily's turn -- and Charlie knows what 3-2-1-Go means *g*  hahaha oh dear.  She had a great round.  He wasn't too sure when they got back to the box and had to go out again (the course did two loops of the field) but she rode it beautifully and soon had their rhythm re-established :)
Rowan and Lissy XC
And while she was on course, Rebecca was in show jumping so I was watching both going at the same time.  hahaha  She and Athena seemed to be having a great run, so I was happy about that.  Em finished XC with a giant grin on her face, so I left the girls to take care of their horses and booked it to stadium in time to watch Brena and Bella zoom around the course.  hahaha so much fun!  Then Victoria and Nina were in -- she looked at one very scary fence in warm-up, but we got her over no problem.  And then their competition round was brilliant!  Woohoo!
Rebecca and Athena XC
Trip back to the trailer to give all the horses a drink and then back to XC.  This group of riders has less experience than the first two, so we took it a little slower, but they did an awesome job.  Neither Victoria nor Nina have any real xc experience, yet they jumped everything -- and both seemed to be having a blast!  hahaha Bella and Athena both think XC is tons of fun and did a good job of convincing their riders.  Brena gets a HUGE gold star for conquring her personal boogy-jump, the ditch!  They did it several times, all beautifully.
Brena and Bella in stadium
And then it was time for them to run their courses.  Rebecca and Athena were first and it was all-round beautiful.  Woohoo.  Then Brena and Bella headed out -- they had a few discussions about speed *g*  But eventually worked it out.  Her status message afterwards pretty much said it all:

And then it was Victoria's turn.  Before leaving this morning Victoria was not too sure this was one of my more brilliant ideas.  We discussed the fact that it's not necessary -- she could stop any time she wanted.  As we schooled, she seemed more comfortable with the idea, but sitting in the start box, still nervous.  We discussed that she can walk or trot anywhere she wanted to.  No speed required.  So they walked out of the box, trotted the first fence, landed cantering and just kept going.  hahaha so much fun!  What an awesome ride!  Jumped clear - of course!  And came back grinning as big as every other rider.  I think we may have addicted her too :)
Victoria and Nina over the ditch
So yeah - overall an absolutely amazing day!  Perfect weather.  Tons o fun!  Oh and all the riders got clear round ribbons on XC and we brought home four ribbons in the actual competition!  Woohoo!!!

HUGE thanks to Steph for being my right hand :)  Would've been *very* hard to warm-up people in two rings at the same time!   And of course to our awesome grooms (who were exceptionally busy at this one with all the tight times) and the amazing support crew/cheering squad!   It's just that much better when you can come back, eyes wide and grinning ear to ear, and say "Did you see that?!?!?!"

Well I did.  And it was excellent.


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