It has been a whirlwind since June. Stromboli and I completed our first rated prelim at Hunter Oaks in Illinois. Dressage was bad as usual. When I first walked the XC course I felt confident about the first 5 fences, but did not see how I could get through the rest of the course. It was HUGE and extremely technical. It had every question I was afraid of, multiple skinnies, a right-hand bending line corner out of the water, another right hand massive skinny up a hill, etc. After walking it two more times I decided I would go out on course and just ride until I couldn't anymore. On top of the difficulties, the footing was very gluey and deep --not what we were used to in hot flat Arkansas. I did not wear a watch and went very very slow. My main goal was simply to complete the event with a number not a letter. Although I feel that my time may have been incorrect (another person finished with a time of 45 sec which would not have been physically possible except if she was riding a cheetah), I completed the event with a NO JUMP penalties and a crap ton of time. Stromboli was wonderfully calm in SJ, but a combination of odd footing, light PVC rails, and the first time experimenting with studs led to a lot of rails. Regardless, we finished!
We then headed to do a P/T at Corona Del Sol in Baird, TX in late August. This event did not go as planned in anyway. It was very hot and the footing was very hard. Although our dressage score improved, Stromboli did not feel like himself and was extremely crooked. By SJ he was rearing a lot and running sideways, refusing to turn right, and being a total beast. SJ was such a mess I considered withdrawing before XC, but I didn't want to leave on a bad note. The next day he came out of his stall with a different attitude and blasted around the XC double clear as usual.
Our last event (pics below) for the season was at Heritage Park in Olathe, KS where we finished 7th with a few rails and time penalties, but a clean XC. Stromboli has proved he is definitely capable of succeeding at this level and he is signed up for a dressage boot camp this winter. I do not plan on eventing him again until his dressage has made significant strides.
Adventures eventing as a semi-pro in the mid-south.