Dissecting The Details: Flora Lea Stadium
|So cute over speed bumps|
When I first went over to check out the course, it was set for Novice. I looked at the fences and thought to myself, "You know, that actually looks doable! I would feel pretty ok walking into that ring to jump those fences." The second time I passed by, it was set for Beginner Novice. "Hey," I said to myself, "A move-up may happen sooner than I expected, those jumps look so friendly! My 2'3" course will be a piece of cake!"
And then after my second cross-country course walk, I moseyed over to the stadium ring to see if the course was set for Elementary so I could walk those lines as well.
Oh, it was set for Elementary. And apparently Max Height 2'3" actually means Max Height 18".
I was literally able to step over each jump on my own two feet. It was the most ridiculous stadium course I'd ever seen in my life. Most IttyBitty jumper divisions are bigger than this stadium course. This was a stadium course for ants. THERE WAS A CROSSRAIL. I'm not even kidding.
Dino was down with that plan.
Our warm-up was flawless. He was forward, he was locking on to the fences, and he was enthusiastic yet adjustable. I jumped each warm-up fence once, Dino boldly launched over each one, and then I went to put my number in.
I probably should have put my number in BEFORE warming up, since I ended up at the end of the list and had to wait around forever for my turn. I jumped Dino over the warm-up vertical one more time before we went in just to make sure he was still awake.
He was totally awake, to the shock and surprise of the bystanders we almost galloped over on the landing side. My apologies.
In stark contrast to last month's horse trial, Dino strutted into the stadium ring like he owned the place and picked up a bright canter right away. We cruised around the speed bumps at a nice quick pace, performing flawless lead changes and some rather impressive inside turns if I do say so myself. Since the jumps were so microscopic I wasn't worried about distances at all, and I just rode bold and forward to everything. No pulling and picking to find the right spot! Dino had a total blast and I was riding with a softness and freedom that I don't always have at shows. While this round was definitely not a challenge, or even close to our current level of ability, the little sticks allowed me to totally relax and just have fun with it.
My pony was rocking and rolling and was really happy to be there jumping around. Dino was very clearly enjoying getting to bomb around the tiny course, and I can't ask for better than that, to be honest.
I'd say that's a win!