It was Reve Dore’s first time going beginner novice, but from his calm demeanor, you would never think he had been under saddle for only five months. Eventer Sharon Grimstad competed Elly Schobel’s homebred Saturday at Julie Zapapas’ Jumping Branch Farm Horse Trials.
Revi or Smarty Pants as he’s known around the barn seemed to grow in confidence as the rider/horse combination seamlessly jumped all the jumping efforts on the cross country course.
Saturday’s dressage test was his best effort yet, according to Grimstad, who is based in Blythewood.
“Elly warmed us up, we went into the ring, and he was brilliant,” said Grimstad. “The transitions were there. We got a 35 on our dressage test from the judge. He did everything I asked him to do. We’re working on keeping him really steady, and keeping him on the bit through the transitions. He was really good. He was listening to me, and really grew a lot during the dressage test.”
The cross country course didn’t seem to rattle Revi, who demonstrated poise and professionalism, jumping the ditch, a number of obstacles resembling logs, and didn’t exhibit the least bit of apprehension when approaching the water complex.
“We had one combination with a little bending line, and he was actually looking toward the next fence,” said Grimstad. “He saw the water, and he was like, let’s go.”
It took two fences for Revi to direct his energies toward the stadium jumping course as he appeared a bit distracted, but that quickly changed, said Grimstad.
“He jumped everything great,” said Grimstad. “He handled the turns nicely, and went right up and down the bank. The roll back was really nice. He was right there. He listened to my outside leg and came right around. I was nice and forward to all the fences.”
Grimstad and Revi do trot sets and gallops once a week, and school ocassionally to get him fit as part of his conditioning.
“We’ll move him up to novice when he’s ready,” said Grimstad. “I’d like to be able to take him up the levels. We’re going to go at whatever rate he’s ready to go at. He’s completely laid back, and having a good time.”