So we are back from Poplar Place Horse Trials where Jamie and Frodo ran Advanced, Alex Intermediate, and Dollar ran the CIC* (preliminary level). The whole weekend was a little awkward as a few mishaps occured along the way which caused a few headaches for Cyndi and I. First, the day before we left for the horse show, Alex pulled a shoe in a jumping lesson which quickly turned into a nasty abcess. Also, this year the organization of the horseshow was quite poor leaving many horse and riders overly warmed up for their dressage tests. This was the case for Dollar. On Friday, everyone's dressage tests went somewhat smoothly, although Jamie and Dollar left a lot to be desired in the ring, due to the disorganization of the show. Frodo and Alex, on the other hand, were competitively placed after their lovely tests. The following day, cross country day, I decided early in the morning to pull Alex from competition just to make sure that he wouldnt hurt himself if were to compensate for his abcess on another leg. Jamie had already been predetermined to just run a combined test which left me with two horses left to finish the event: Frodo and Dollar. Frodo was a star running around the course within the time and no jump penalties to lead his division with over three rails in hand in the show jumping phase. I was pretty excited about that. Dollar was a star as well. Because he wasnt placed competitively after dressage, both my coach Buck and I decided that for training purposes, I ought to run him slowly, so as to not encourage him to get stronger and stronger on course. Red Hill was a field day for Dollar, as he was allowed to run as fast as he could. I guess you could say Dollar wasnt the happiest of horses when he kept getting held back to a canter after every fence. However, when Dollar came through the finish the vets took his temp and heartrate and were astounded at his fitness level. In over ninety degree weather, Dollar came in at a 101.0 temp, and he was deemed the best conditioned horse of the show. Not too bad for a horse going to the killers a little over a year ago? Show Jumping day turned out to be a little bit disappointing for me. Dollar had two rails, which had stemmed from his pulling from the day before. I wasnt too upset about the rails because he isnt one who normally has them and are a quick fix for me in the ring. Jamie jumped around like a star and had one of only four double clear advanced rounds of the day. All was set for Frodo to take home the blue but my inexperience and nerves got in the way and we lowered a five rails (all my fault) which robbed us from the blue. Having said that, although I am extremely disappointed with the show jumping phase, all mistakes were on my part which is far better to have than to be one of the horses. All my horses performed like stars and were true competitors and have been this whole season. They are such pleasures for me to ride, not to mention great friends who teach me as well as allow me to teach them. So, Poplar Place is under the mat, now it's time to push on to the next big event in three weeks: Ocala three day event. This will be Dollar's first three day event and he will be doing the CCI* and I will also be competing Alex in the CCI**. Both of these guys are MORE than ready for this level and I hope to be hanging two more blue ribbons on my wall. Hope everyone is doing well in their season and look forward to updating you on some good news from Ocala. See you soon!!!