Yes, show recap #1, because we had two shows this weekend!
I was pretty sure I was going to die on Saturday. Let me explain.
I entered Training at both shows, and Wednesday was the first time I tried to run through Training test A. It was really bad. Like the worst ride I’ve had on Henry maybe ever. I never actually made it all the way through the test a single time. Then on Friday night a cold front blew through, dropping the temperature from the mid-80’s to the upper 40’s and leaving behind a 25+mph wind. I thought really long and hard about scratching, but instead I just sent Bobby a quick fb message to bequeath Henry to him and put on my Big Girl Pants.
I unloaded my horse kite (see below) around dawn, because naturally I was the first rider of the day. It’s a small venue geared more toward beginners, so I was the only one in Training. I tacked up my kite while trying to keep him attached to the trailer but off of my feet, took a flying leap onto his back like a spider monkey, and we snorted and spooked our way down the road toward warm-up. Yep… definitely going to die.
As soon as I got to the warm-up ring I got into as much of a half seat as I could manage in a dressage saddle and just let Henry canter until he quit spooking. It really wasn’t that long, maybe 5 minutes, then I was able to pick up contact, sit on him, and start warming him up for real. He was definitely tense but fairly obedient, so after a few lengthenings and some leg yield I decided to wander over to the ring and let him look at it for a few minutes before we went in. He hairy-eyeballed the potted plants at the letters and I could totally feel him stiffen from nose to tail when the big wind gusts blew, but what do you know, he went in there and was actually pretty good.
No movement was amazing, but none were awful either. A lot of the comments were “tense” (well… yeah the wind was literally about to blow us over) but I got the good ol’ “tactfully ridden”, which I’m pretty sure is code for “good job not getting killed”. Ha.
After a quick tack change (not really, I couldn’t even tack my horse up because the wind was blowing so hard, shit just kept blowing off) I hopped on for stadium. I was freezing to death and ready to go home so I cantered two laps each way, jumped two fences, and went in the ring. They set the jumps really soft, only two were 3’3″ and the rest were 2’9″-3′. I tried to move up past the distance at jump 1 (because I dunno, history of bad judgment?), and Henry was a little over-enthusiastic, but other than that it was fine. A hard rub but luckily it stayed up.
Then I stuffed Henry full of treats, picked up my dressage test, tossed him in the trailer, and left. I was dying of cold. Yes it was only 50. Whatever. I couldn’t feel my legs or my face. I had gotten quite used to the 80’s last week, thank you very much. My desire to be warm far outweighed my desire to wait for a 1st-out-of-1 ribbon.
The pone is pretty cute though. And by the end he was no longer a kite anymore, so that’s a plus.
And then it was on to our Sunday adventures…