Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Last Derby

The day before I sold Misty, I took her to the very last show. It was a fun little derby being held at a fancy dressage barn. They've recently been foraying into different types of shows besides just dressage and this is their first year of doing a derby series (of 3).

Unfortunately I missed the first one in the series, but I was able to make it to this second one since Misty's owner pushed back the pick up date by a week.

The derby looked SUPER fun. Basically you rode your dressage test, then the jumping/xc was combined into where you would jump in one ring, jump out of the ring, ride across the grass to the little trails in the woods where there was a jump, jump into a different ring with 3 fences, then ride back across the grass, over a little coop (the only actual xc fence), jump into the arena and finish your course back where you started.

I thought it was awesome. Misty hadn't been ridden in 2 weeks prior to the show and I had time to fit in two rides before the show - one flat and one jumping.

She was actually rather bad for the flat ride. She didn't want to do transitions nicely at all, so we spend the entire time reinforcing that she needed to do them when I said AND they had to be soft and on the bit. Such torture.

But it was well worth it because while she warmed up pretty spunky, bucking every so often and leaping into the canter when I asked for it, she gave me such a solid, awesome test. I was thrilled with her. It was seriously one of our best tests to-date. She was accurate, forward, responsive, steady and soft. The only real bobble we had is the trot to walk transition right in front of the judge wasn't very good, I needed to keep my leg on more so she wouldn't come above the bit. But overall, I couldn't be happier with how it went!

We ended up second after dressage with a 27.8!!

I thought this was such an awesome compliment!

After dressage, a huge dark cloud rolled in and the announcer asked riders to get off their horses and return to the barn while it started thundering and lightning and raining. It was quite impressive. There was a severe weather warning set for the area, but luckily it just passed us by quickly and we were back on schedule in 20 minutes.

The jumping was scored using stadium rules, which was lucky for us. Misty warmed up fairly well, with a few bunny hops and flying leaps here and there. I don't jump enough to really see my distance so the key with Misty is to just ride her forward with an even tempo to the jumps. I'm too used to "compressing" Jetta into a smaller, bouncy canter but it just doesn't work for Misty.

Cute stuff

Anyways, I was a tad nervous about the course just because we'd only jumped plain jumps and all of the jumps were flowery and well decorated (they did a fantastic job with the jumps!). Misty was bunny hopping a lot of the jumps, but at least she was going over them... until the jump in the woods. We went from bright and sunny to shade right at the jump and of course Misty decided to stop. She popped over the second time and continued through the trails to the second arena where the first jump was a brick wall... which she refused in slow motion. I really thought she was going over it, so I'm not sure what happened there. We continued the rest of the course, taking the low option for the coop, and Misty surprisedly cantered right over the downhill jump into the arena which I had planned on trotting since it looked spooky to me. Apparently not.

Love this pic

I was pretty bummed with Misty's refusals so I added a schooling round and we went again. You could see Misty dragging her feet as I hauled her back out of the stall for round 2. "But I thought I was done!" - This is what happens when you're a bad pony.

The second round was near perfect. No refusals, though we did have one rail. And we took the high option for the coop. I was very happy with that round and Misty finally got untacked and stuffed with treats.

Everyone had at least one refusal or multiple rails so we ended up hanging on to our second place!

It was a really great way to end our partnership. I miss my little unicorn pony so much, but I'm glad for the time we had together.

Afterwards I got to watch my friend, PR, ride her amazing mare. They were going to do prelim, but opted to drop down to Training, since 1) she was competing against herself as the only one in that division, and 2) she was sick.

Overall, it was super fun! I can't wait for the next one and I hope to ride Jetta in it, since I have a little over a month to prepare!


  1. I saw that new derby series and wished I lived a little closer! Such a gorgeous facility! Glad you got to end on such a lovely note with Misty!

    1. That would've been awesome if you had made it down! Road trip for the last one? Lol.

  2. You are more brave than I! When Benny was sold "pending pick up" I didn't even turn him out. I was way too worried something would happen to him.

    1. Yeah, I was a little nervous about it, but then again she's the kind of horse I can usually depend on to not break herself lol.

  3. What a cool series and a perfect last hurrah with Misty!

  4. What a wonderful culmination of your partnership <3