Team Donogue – Not New but Improved!

More successful shows to report from down south!

At Rocking Horse 2 weeks ago Rocco completed his first Intermediate.  He was 2nd after the dressage on a test with lots of room for improvement.  The show jumping was difficult.  There were a lot of jumps in what felt like a very small ring.  He was jumping great….until the last Liverpool where he promptly slammed on the brakes!  In the past he has been spooky at these, the difference on this day was there was no warning!  I was a bit nervous for the x-c.  There were a few questions we had never navigated together and I was not sure how he would handle them.  Thankfully, he was brilliant!!  Surprising me again and finishing 3rd.  Indy finished the training on his dressage score.  Missy added a rail to her score and finished 5th.  She is so much like her brother Manny, so brave!  Hopefully I have learned how to channel that bravery a little better and don’t re-create the beast of Manny!  And last but not least Molly and Hank completed their 2nd prelim together finishing 9th.  Good work guys!

Last Wednesday Manny came up a little foot sore and was unable to come to Pine Top with us.  This was disappointing, as I was really looking forward to running him there because it’s a great galloping course for him.  So that night I emailed Janet Wilson, the secretary of Pine Top, asking if I could bring an Intermediate horse (Rocco) instead.  She instantly replied, ‘Yes email me an entry’.  Easier said then done, three email attempts later it worked!  Since Rocco had just run the previous weekend, he had a couple easy days and a flat.  I guess they don’t forget how to jump.

We left here Thursday morning at 5am with Mater, Shags and Rocco.  We got to Pine Top, unpacked and started riding them.  It was only then we noticed that Shaggy had pulled a shoe the night before in the paddock.  The farrier was called and was only able to come out at the end of his workday.  Which had Sandra waiting for his arrival until 9:45 that night!  Long day for everyone but special thanks have to go out to Sandra!!  Needless to say Shags was not ridden that first day, instead we decided to ride him early the next morning.  We woke up to rain, which was great as it made the footing for x-c much better.  The rain did not last long and it turned into a beautiful day.  Mater did a good test, he remained relaxed and rideable throughout.  If I can consistently keep getting that horse in the ring I’ll be able to start asking for more.  Shigatzi did his best test of the year thus far.  It was his first advanced level test and he was 5th after the dressage.  The most exciting part with this horse is that he has so much more to offer.  Mater jumped a beautiful clear show jumping round.  If only we could always show jump before x-c!!  Shags handled the heights of the next level very comfortably and jumped really well.  We had 1 rail and that was my fault…we got a little backwards through an in and out.  The next jump was a big square oxer; I got a little excited and maybe used a little too much leg.  The x-c was a great first run, big and galloping with a few questions.  Mater made it feel like nothing and finished the day in 10th.  Shags was pretty much foot perfect and finished 4th (At his first Advanced!  Way to go Shaggy!!).  I’ve had him since he was a baby and I’m so proud of him!  The following day Rocco did an alright test and show jumped clean.  He was again fantastic on the x-c and finished his weekend in 3rd.  He has definitely done a complete 180 from where he was this time last year.  Then, IF we made it out of the start box our next destination was to head for trees!

The drive home felt long.  But we were greeted by Jen and Molly who had the horses cared for and helped us get everything unpacked by 10:30pm and then we were finally ready for bed!!

We are off to Rocking Horse this weekend (March 4th, 5th and 6th) with Indy and Missy in the training, Molly and Hank in the prelim and Jen riding Zing in the novice and Ray in the training.  This is followed by a 3-day training camp and then of to Red Hills.  The action just never stops down here…and we wouldn’t want it any other way!

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