Pharaoh and Blazer both got to go out to Rubicon this weekend. Blazer was first up in the morning feeling great in his dressage. Unfortunately we were on the grass and even with studs he slipped a little in the front during his first halt and felt very carefully and conservative on his feet for the rest of the test. He scored at 32 putting him in second though so can't say I'm disappointed with that for his first time back since young riders. Show jumping was a different story, we couldn't quit agree on a distance to a lot of the fences. Three down is not exactly what I was expecting but we have to start back somewhere. Cross country I wasn't sure what to expect and was kind of ready for it to go any direction out there. Blazer really stepped up though and we got all our distances and he jumped around much better than I had expected!
Pharaoh went in the afternoon and warmed up for dressage great. He's really been improving in his trot work a lot lately but he still gets a little nervous once he gets into a new place. I must say though he settled in much much faster than his last show at Maryland so I'm very happy with that. His test started out with 7's all the way up to our first canter transition where he picked up the wrong lead trotted and fixed it. After that he went right back into the soft frame that he had started with however I guess the judge no longer thought the same and changed what would have been 7's to 6's. I am slightly disappointed with his dressage score because I know that he is a great horse and deserved a much better score than he got because of his one mistake that changed the judges view. This horse is a lot of fun to jump and really knows what he's there to do when he gets into the ring. Unfortunately he thought he knew more for the first couple of fences and decided to ignore my half halts and had a few flat jumps costing him the rails. By the end of the course though I really felt him listening and jumping up and over the fences which is a feeling I've been really reaching for the last few weeks. The cross country was really torn up by the time I got out there since it had rained all day two days before. Pharaoh only has front shoes on right now and so I had to go out without any studs in. The course rode great all the way around and Pharaoh was his normal self taking me right down to a deep distance on every fence without blinking an eye. Fence 10 however was a ditch two strides to a log but before it you slope down hill and then back up. Coming on the down hill was very slippery and torn up so I brought him back into a very slow canter to help him from slipping. Once the hill started to go back up and he saw his fence he opened up his stride and his hind leg slipped. He could have easily jumped the ditch but he was really shaken up by slipping and not knowing where his feet are. Sadly he was already presented to the fence when he slipped and so the circle did cost him 20 points. It's a shame for him because I know that he was not afraid of the jump at all he was simply afraid of losing his footing and he jumped through the second time without a problem and continued on home.
Overall Rubicon was a great experience for both horses. Blazer really needed to get out so I could see where he was going into the winter. Obviously we'll need to work on some show jumping but I'm very happy to know that he still has that bold cross country horse in him. Pharaoh is quickly remembering his job and I have no doubt this horse could easily move up to Training in the spring, he is a talented horse with a great mind that loves his job.