2018 UK Trip – Day 11

June 24, 2018

last night (Saturday) was the party at the competition and the team was awesome. They checked in every hour as asked, and every check in they were bubbling with excitement and rambling incoherently about some exciting detail of the festivities. I gather that the silent disco was a huge hit with them. From my point of view it was genius. Yes people were singing loudly but it was still so much quieter than it probably would have been. Having an activity helps keep the party going in s fun and positive direction too. I really liked this idea. I wish we had enough people to putt it off too.

We were woken up at 730 this morning by a call from Amy that the ponies were not secure in their corrals. I said “ponies are loose” and all five of the team were out of bed and out the camper door in under 30 seconds like true equestrians. Apparently it was a chain reaction of one pony getting shocked and spooking another who then got shocked and it rolled into ponies running through fencing.

Musketeers Session 3 video clips

Grace only had one session today but her team finished strong in third. She looked great on Tilly and rode strong off lead. Way to go Grace!

Our Session 3 was also strong. We have improved with each session as we get to know our ponies better.

Video of our session 3.

I also ran into this wonderful old friend, Marilyn Hackman. I met Marilyn way back in the early 90s when I first started traveling with USMGA. She has been forever supportive and friendly and a welcome sight since then. I was so happy to see her and get a hug. We got in a nice chat and catch up too. I truly enjoyed this part of my day.

Krista and Emma were able to watch the Open Premier A final while the team tacked up. See tomorrow’s blog post for video. No time to compile it for today’s blog post.

Nikki also reminded Krista to get some photos of the joust board for Carl and had a quick mini equipment chat. Carl will be proud.

Then it was time for our session 4, which was ten races long. This was by far our best session. We actually finished third in it! If it had not been cumulative points we would have done pretty darn well! But we are still happy with our 5th over all. Woo!

Session 4 video – Emma thinks they might have missed s race or two.

I am so proud of the team. They rode really well. Each pony fit one rider rather well and only one rider. And each rider seemed to really enjoy their pony. If we had a few more sessions I think they would really be rocking and rolling. One comment I got a couple times was “they can really vault!” Which is so true. This is a vaulting team.

Each one of them brought some awesome skills to the team and surprised me more than a few times.

Fenya really stepped up as the youngest rider. She listened really well, always looked for instruction, and followed suit. She learned how to ride Gem, that did not mesh well with any of the other riders, and really used her legs, seat and VOICE well. Gem is a pony you have to ride through every aspect of the race and Fenya did. She had excellent vaults and I knew I could count on her in those races. Easy going, and laid back, Fenya stepped up. I am excited to watch this kid take her experience home and apply it to her regular games play. She is young and still has so much room to grow and improve but has such a strong foundation already to build off of. She really impressed me.

Steph was mostly consistent and dependable. She rode well and had excellent vaults. I liked her on Max, who matched her riding style very well. I was happy to see she did look and respond to my hand signals during the last session when she rode in the fourth position a few times. When I gave her the “you have time” signal she took it slow and didn’t rush back in. Which was noticed and relayed over the PA system along the lines of “New Forest sees that they have time and they are playing smart” or something to that effect.

Eliza was easy to work with, receptive and appropriately confident. She rode Wispa beautifully. Another excellent pony rider match that I couldn’t be happier with. Always polite she really has matured and learned to take coaching well. She hit the field like a professional and it showed. She is not just a games rider and has a lot of solid riding foundation which came through in her riding on Wispa. She made the ride look easy. I feel like I could put her on anyone’s pony and feel confident they would be happy with her ability.

Caroline had a tough pony in Jazmina, that also didn’t suit any other rider and Caroline did a great job with her. Very different from her usual ride at home it took her a bit to get the hang of her but once she got the pony figured out it really came together. She is the one I would most like to have seen have a few more sessions. I think her next session would have been killer. She is a very coachable rider and works hard. I think she got a lot out of her rides and I am interested to see how she transcribes it when she gets home. This kid is about to take off. Look out MGAA Open teams.

Sadie was what I consider my clinch rider. Dependable and adaptable. I could put her in pretty much any position and she would do it. She was on the amazing Smoky Joe and she rode him like a sports car. Sadie was a little feisty to start with but was also coachable. And her worst was to be threatened to be pulled out of a vaulting race. She still has some growing (physically – I think she added a foot of leg over the past year, and mentally, she is only 15yo!) but she has some incredible potential coming on. She rides a lot like a boy, thinking of guts and gusto, but with more finesse. The one thing I think she is missing that I think will serve her well to develop is perspective.

All of these kids are really good and they still have so much potential ready to come out. They are really good and just waiting to be even better. BOOM!

I am so proud of this team. So so proud. They did such a fantastic job. Not just in their riding but in their socializing. They were an amazing team on and off the field. I really enjoyed this time with them and getting to know them better. The three I have traveled with before have grown and gotten more mature and really grown into more amazing people. And the two I have not traveled before wowed me even more then I expected. I could not be happier with this team.

It was another uncharacteristically warm and sunny day here in England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿. I think Krista and Emma even got some color.

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