Weekend Wrap Up: Poplar Place Schooling Show

This weekend was nothing if not eventful. On Friday I made the trek down to Poplar Place Farm for a 1 day 3 phase schooling show. I had never been before and I was taken back by how pretty it is. That makes 3/3 of the bigger HT venues in GA that I have been to being gorgeous. Also can I just say how much I appreciate a venue that has stall mats in paved stalls. Because this was a schooling show PPF allowed you to school cross country on Friday. This was exciting and also a bit scary as I have never ridden with Lauren’s trainer and it is hard enough to meet a new trainer in an arena let alone when you are out in the field and you have no idea if your ginger will be a good witch or a bad witch… Thankfully while Annie was a little fiery she was quite rideable and I was able to get a really good feel for LT and she for us. Poplar-RiverBirchTeam-100Of course because I shared how difficult Annie has been with her Annie was great – albeit a little excitable but I mean who can blame her because ermahgerdddd JUMP ALL THE THINGS. We schooled what I will say was a super weird little course and Annie of course dominated all of the jumps. I need to stop leaning (for the love of god) was my main take away. Annie is plenty bold but as LT said we are a teeter totter. If I lean Annie does as well and then we end up with a huge flat stride approaching the jumps. LT had a lot of other insights for me but I am going to have to break them down into separate posts. We wrapped up with a super confident school through a novice water question and prepped for the next day. Poplar-RiverBirchTeam-26It is no secret that dressage is a struggle for us. I went from riding a horse that was literally top 3 after dressage to a horse that is almost always in last place after our test. Annie is unlike any horse that I have ridden and obviously is my first truly green one off the track (even though not actually raced). She is very very smart and sensitive and while we have made leaps and bounds in our training we have so far to go. I will Poplar-RiverBirchTeam-30That said when we were warming up I was not sure how our test would go. She was pretty well behaved but normally the nerves in the arena have me riding her like a motorcycle with the wheels falling off. She totally surprised me and kept her thinking cap on. I was very nervous though and did some bad geometry and almost forgot my test (apparently a theme for the day but more on that later) but she rocked. Obviously nothing was perfect but we scored a 38.25 for an almost 10 pt improvement on our score from Feather Creek. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish this year. Poplar-RiverBirchTeam-96Stadium unfortunately left a lot to be desired and while I was able to ride it I apparently couldn’t ride and remember all of the jumps simultaneously which resulted in a TE. I could have run XC but as we schooled all of the jumps on Friday I opted to save her for another day rather than run a weird course with 12 jumps since we couldn’t place anyways. Poplar-RiverBirchTeam-102I ended up with a layover at LT’s barn Saturday night and a couple of training rides but more on that later this week. Did you guys have eventful weekends too?



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  1. Sounds like a reasonably good weekend overall. Riding with a new trainer can certainly be hard, especially in a show situation. Sounds like it was a good pairing though and that the trainer was able to help. I love the dressage pictures of Annie. Congratulations on a major improvement in the dressage rectangle of doom. 🙂 Sorry to hear that stadium didn’t go as planned, but I have no doubt you’ll be better next time.

    I got on my horse twice this weekend and otherwise just enjoyed the nicer weather.

  2. Oh man, Annie looks so great in those 2 dressage test pictures! So much more relaxed and engaged that when you guys really started to buckle down. Your hard work is really showing.

  3. aw bummer about the TE! what a disappointment – it sounds like it was otherwise going well, and lots of nice pics!

    did they not let you run xc anyway? most schooling shows around are pretty relaxed about letting TE’d riders continue on (sans score) unless they appeared dangerous

    1. We were not dangerous I was just forgetful. They would have let me run I just opted to save her for another day as I didn’t see any true benefit to running when I had already schooled all of the questions on the course on Friday 🙂

  4. Ugh bummer! Everyone is susceptible to a TE eventually. As someone who forgets dressage tests AND jump courses, I know it stinks. At least you were able to have the education from schooling the cross-country on Friday.

  5. Bummer about the TE, but it’s awesome Annie had her head in the game for you! It’s hard to get both horse and human head on the same page at the same time sometimes. But it will all come together! Not bad for your first time out this year 🙂