Monty’s Moment at UNH

Not many 4yos casually graze amidst chaos.

Not many 4yos casually graze amidst chaos.

Do you remember the last time everything seemed to fall into place? All your work came together and your ride went exactly according to plan? It’s doesn’t happen often – after all, our partner often has their own agenda – but this is what happened with Monty yesterday.

A suddenly chilly morning in the 30s with a breeze that would freeze the warmest of Autumn hearts, Monty and I trailered to UNH for our early dressage time. Though tight through his back, this wonderful 4 year old was impeccably behaved and focused in the chaos of the warmup. His dressage test was lovely and scored a 31.3. The judge agreed with my thoughts on more stretch through his topline, a theme for most horses that day.

Stadium was his shining moment. After more then 5 hours of hand grazing and casually eating hay in the trailer, Monty marched out to the warmup and worked in the small space beautifully. Despite multiple attempts at our lives from riders that had difficulty turning and calling fences, Monty kept his cool to work over the fences nicely and then casually hack over the ring an await his turn. The winds were stronger and fences had fallen, but Monty did not notice. He handled the course with pure class, showcasing our recent focus on strength and adjustability to the fence, while maintaining balance in a consistent stride between jumps. He was a star and a pleasure to ride.

My heavens – isn’t he handsome?!!

monty-scoreCross country comes so naturally for him. He is so confident without being a bully. He loves galloping along the paths, and though aware of when the next question may present itself, he is never distracted. Coming to the water, he queued into the log, then on take up was surprised to see the water on landing. A little leg and in he wet, cantering out with a smile. The shadowed ditch to roll top didn’t phase him at all, related distances were natural for him, and he was always happy to find the next fence. He was so pleased with himself at the end! Ears forward, eyes sparkling, and so happy to have just run around. He is a fun horse that clearly enjoys his job, and feels good about himself. He finished on his dressage score to bring home 5th place.

His next outing is Course Brook Farm Horse Trials in two weeks. I feel confident that he could move up to Training at this time, though as it is the end of the season, I would rather end on another confident run at Novice and hand his reins to someone knowing he has the foundation for Training level next year with a new rider.

Huge THANK YOU to Andrea Manley of Stubben and Cavalor for the video and use of the Stubben Portos saddle!!

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