From racing to riding... the training diary of an off the track Standardbred

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Apple Knoll Hunter Pace- November 12, 2011

Last Saturday, Mary-Kate and I embarked on an adventure to Apple Knoll for their annual Hunter Pace. Usually it is on the weekend of Halloween but this year that weekend got snowed out. Luckily, the postponed the event and didn't cancel it. I have been waiting all year to do this and I would have been really disappointed if they cancelled it.

We ended up getting to Apple Knoll pretty late, around 1:00pm. The first riders rode out at 9am and they said the last riders could ride out at 2pm but we were the last ones there. We had the trails and jumps all to ourselves which was really nice!

The course was 8ish miles of beautiful fields, lakes, and trails. Surprisingly, there were very few really muddy spots. We were concerned that since it snowed (and rained two days straight before!) the course would be too muddy and wet to do anything. There was a wide variety of jumps of all sizes. Jet absolutely LOVES cross country courses and trails so this was the perfect combination for him.

We started out with some smaller logs (about 18") anf by the end of the pace, we jumped our biggest jump ever together, a 2'7" coop! Jet is a lot more confident over solid fences than he is over poles and oddly enough, I am too. I think it helps both of us find our spots and with it being in a field, we have a nice long approach to prepare for the fence. Jet was bold and brave to the fences but got too quick at times. We only had one refusal which was completely my fault. He broke from the canter a few strides about before a little tiny coop and I dropped him before the fence and it fell apart but he simply scooted off to the side. He has never dirty stopped on me before and I am really thankful for that. He usually trusts me enough to do whatever I ask of him which is a great feeling!

The only downside to the day was that the people running it were getting pissed off because we were the only ones out there and they wanted to go home. If they wanted to go home at a certain time, they should have said that the course was closed SOONER. One lady in particular gave me, my friends, and my family an extremely nasty and rude attitude. They had my Mom call me saying that if we didn't hurry up and get back, they were going to send a horse and rider out there to bring us back asap. Umm...excuse me? We paid for this hunter pace and we will go however slow or quickly we want to. Even though we did take a lot of walking breaks and hung around in the fields to jump a bit, we were only a few minutes slower than everyone else who did the pace. Not everyone at the facility was rude. There was one woman who welcomed us back when we got there and asked us about our ride, if we had a good time, and she even apologized for her fellow workers'/friends' poor attitude.

Even though we were pretty upset about that, we didn't let it ruin our day! Here are some videos from the day. The find one is a combination of them all put to music and with pictures so if you only want to watch one, watch that one. If there are some you want to see more of/watch the whole video, see the videos labelled below. Enjoy!

Apple Knoll- Party Rock Anthem

Small course: medium log, to small log, to coop (refusal), back to coop, to large log

Big side of the log! about 2'3"? Yes...he supermanned it..

Roll Top try 1

Roll Top try 2

Red coop

Raised log

Raised Log to little coop

Big coop

Our biggest jump ever- the big coop! He was so good (:

And here are two of Mary-Kate and her Standardbred!

Big log

HUGE roll top! about 2'7"?