Knocking The Rust Off - BCHP Schooling HT May 2015
I got to the barn in the morning and found this:
|Thank you, sir, for covering yourself head-to-tail in mud. Thanks.|
We met up with Rachel and Toby at the Horse Park, and it was so fun to be able to spend the show day with them!
For dressage, I stuck with my original game plan to warm up on the grass for 20-30 minutes and then canter Dino around the outside of the ring before we went down center line.
|warming up like a noodle who can't go on the bit..|
|Better, but CAN I SHORTEN MY LEFT REIN, EVER?!|
The rest of the test wasn't super ugly or anything, but it wasn't our best work so I was feeling a little bummed out about it. The judge was scoring really strictly, too, so I wasn't optimistic for a great score. Most riders were sitting somewhere in the 40's after dressage.
Dino warmed up great for stadium; he was jumping wonderfully and I was seeing my distances. After walking the course, the bending lines that I was originally worried about didn't seem so bad.
We marched into the ring when it was our turn... and...
Dino didn't want to canter.
|FOR REAL ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?|
|I think this is my favorite shot of the day!|
Then we got to fence 8, which was a post-and-rail fence with some hay bales under it set on a little bit on a downhill slope, and I wasn't quite clear in my instructions as to what exactly I wanted Dino to do. He stared at hard, considered stopping, and then ended up literally walking over it. Should I have popped him with my stick when I felt him sucking back? Probably. I didn't. Live and learn!
We trotted down the hill and picked up our canter again for fence 9, the hanging log, which Dino jumped wonderfully. At fence 10 - the dreaded palisade where we had three stops during our very first horse trial, Dino looked HARD, I didn't back him up, and we picked up a refusal. I circled and re-presented, and my fantastic pony jumped it just fine. We trotted the last downhill section, picked up the canter, and jumped the cute little coop at the end of the course.
I wanted to collapse and die after XC. It was so hot and humid, my legs felt like jello, I thought I might puke, and it was all I could do to slither off of my pony and walk him back up to the trailer.
At the end of the day, we finished in 8th place out of 13, and got to take home a beautiful ribbon for our efforts!
We weren't all that far off from the winning score, and if we hadn't had the stop on cross country, we would have won. Knowing that, I am VERY determined to finish on my dressage score next time around!
Of course, I have a laundry list of things that need to be improved, but overall I'm pleased with how the day went. As our first horse trial of the year, it was a good way to see where we stand and get back into the swing of showing. I think both Dino and I needed to get into the routine again, and our next outing will be smoother and better all the way around.