Mid-Atlantic #4 – August 2019

August 6, 2019

MA4 was at a new location, the Horse Park of New Jersey in Allentown, NJ. It was a long and slightly frustrating drive for me, and tolls tolls tolls. But the grounds are very nice and I like the stall and barn design.

Since none of the arenas were big enough to run more than 5 lanes we were set up in a field on the cross country course. We couldn’t drive there so it was a time consuming walk, and since the PA was not able to work with the facility PA there was a gap in broadcast communications but it all worked out just fine and the grounds was super nice. Plus I love riding on grass.

The camping was very compact but this made it possible to visit with a lot of people and get to socialize with friends we don’t always get to socialize with.

This is the first competition in years that I have not been bustingly excited about. I think part of it was that new venues always make me apprehensive. But I have also been lacking confidence riding Possum and having some mild frustration about his slow progress. I have also been super busy wrapping up nationals and preparing for internationals and not able to really ride as much as I like so I felt out of sorts. Stupidly I have been letting myself stew in this lack of confidence. Lame I know.

Carly’s usual pony, Remy was at home with a brewing abscess so she was on Tommy’s pony Charlie. She rides Charlie but he is bigger than her usual Remy, and just not her normal ride. She rode him beautifully though and even hopped on Possum for a few races.

Friday we got in a nice little ride and a little hang out time with friends. And Saturday we were up nice and early and ready for our 9am session.

The session felt good. We all rode quite well and had a good time. We left sitting in fourth.

Next I coached Riptide in intermediate and then we worked the Open session. I was so hot after that and camp was in full sun at that time of day. It took quite a while for me to cool down and I suspect I was a bit heat strokey.

Because of this I opted to sit out an extra race in the second session and I sat in the shade while Riptide rode their second session.

Our second session was a little stronger than our first session. We finished again in fourth and with smiles on our faces.

Saturday night was a good opportunity to spend time with friends. We had a social dinner with the Campbells and then visited around with other groups of friends, chatting and laughing.

Sunday we were up and ready for the session three final which ran at 830.

It was our team’s best session of the weekend. We all rode mostly clean and quick. It was a lot of fun and we had good enthusiasm. We ended tied for third. The tie breaker was flag fliers, which we had just played and won, but even with a clean and quick run Infinity had a little leg on us and took the yellow leaving us in the fourth place we had held all competition.

Our sometimes teammate Tommy, who also happens to by Carly’s boyfriend, came and coached us. It was really nice to have him in the ring with us. And we can hear his voice when we are on the field too!

Possum was awesome. He had a few little oddness moments but was mostly excellent and in the third session I felt like I was riding a real games pony. He’s certainly stepping into his new role and starting to fill those shoes. He was moving out more and was still giving me Whoa and Stand like a pro. His turns are not horrible although still have to be ridden and need some more tidying up and speed added, but all in all he was fantastic. I think I’ll add a bit more speed at MA5. He is ready.

My whole team was fantastic and rode really well. I felt like we were united and having fun together.

Also exciting, friend Rebekah made her games come back on Simon in Novice on team Wait! what? And she did awesome. Her lovely boyfriend John caught some video which I have included a link to at the end of this post.

She rode really well and I think she made a fantastic come back. Simon really seemed to enjoy her too.

The playing field has a swarm of dragon flies on it. Nothing to get in the way or cause a problem, it was more surreal and magical if anything. Like little bombers hovering around. You can see some in the photo below.

I am pumped back up and can’t wait for MA5 now. Wooo! But first, there is a trip to England and Wales to experience.

Video of Rebekah and Simon

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