Sunday, July 20, 2014

That was my best course . . . ever.

I am so happy with how this weekend ended. I almost didn't want it to end! It was going so well! The medal, unfortunately, didn't run today, so the girl who didn't qualify wasn't able to get her points, but, the way that the medal is described in the rulebook might allow her to ride in the final.

I schooled during a break and Baby went over everything. She stopped at one fence, and I'm not really sure why she did. We had a nice distance to it, then she just slid to a stop (perhaps she was practicing her reining). Everything else was fine. Funny story, one of the lines was the the same from yesterday, except it was one stride longer. Baby is notorious for going slow, but I would like to put some emphasis on how short she can make her stride. The line was set for seven. She made it in nine. Not bad for a HUS horse.

Junior Eq. wasn't bad at all. I had one stop in my first course. I had been feeling a bit queasy since Friday. My nausea was partly due to my actual health and partly due to my own nerves. I'm feeling better now, but I wasn't able to eat or drink much today. Anyway, it hit me right as I was going into the line, so I gave Baby no support going to the second fence. I got her over it a second time, and I did so with a lot of help from the crowd. Lots of clicking and clucking and middle-aged women yelling "Leg!". It kills me how willing people are to help riders out, whether they know them or not. I don't know about the rest of this sport, but, around here, you find more kind, educated, and genuinely helpful people than you do rude ones. The repulsed "Hunter Sass" doesn't exist much around here.

The second course had two stops at the same fence. It was a rollback from an oxer to a little vertical, but I was ignored by my mount going up to the oxer, so the distance was screwed up, and I had to scramble to get myself together then go for the vertical. Of course, she stopped. No biggie, the oxer wasn't great, so I brushed it off and went for it again. When she stopped the second time, I was not having it. No more asking, time for telling.

On the flat, she was pulling on me quite a bit and collapsed on her forehand at the canter. It felt like left lead the entire time. I ended up fourth though, and got an 8th in my first course and a 7th (yay purple ribbon!) in the second.

I decided to add Delmarva to my classes today. It was right after Eq., so I had a little break, then went back in. The first course was rough. Most of the distances weren't pretty, and I think we missed all but one lead, but there were no stops, so that's good. We placed fourth.

The second course is what I am currently relishing in. Never have I ever had a course that nice. The pace was there. The turns were on point. The only thing wrong with it (besides my equitation because that's still requiring some work) was two leads and two distances. Everything else was just great. I couldn't believe how perfectly Baby pulled that course off. That is what I plan on shooting for with every course that I do. We placed second.

She stopped with most of the pulling on the flat, but then the left lead canter was very heavy, so I was perpetually half halting for the right lead. We placed fourth.

I'm over joyed with how this weekend turned out. I only had a total of six stops, I was riding better, and the number of people looking out for me practically doubled. I greatly appreciate all the support, assistance, and helpful comments, both from my friends and strangers. I couldn't imagine doing all this alone. I'll have to someday, but thankfully that day is not today.

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