Monday, December 15, 2014

The real real IEA experience

Because no matter how many times I ride a new horse at home, nothing quite compares to hanging out in the cold for 12 hours and then stubbing your toe on a piece of metal in an attempt to warm up. It still hurts.

Our first IEA show was yesterday. Needless to say, it was freezing. It was supposed to get up into the 50s, but the wind built up a bit during the warm part of the day. Either you sat in the sun, or you huddled like a penguin. There was no in between. We all convened at the farm around 7:30. The horses started schooling a little while after, but the show didn't start until after 10:00. Cas and Izzy were the first two to do their jump courses, and they got first and fourth respectively. After, they went, I waited maybe another hour or so to draw. I got Willow.

Some time later, I got on for warm-up. As usual, I was nervous. I was shaking, yawning, and nauseous—I had to force feed myself a bagel on the drive to the barn. I was pretty stiff while warming up, but I relaxed a bit when I got in the ring. Willow was having a pretty good day. All I had to do was keep her straight to the fence. We trot in, picked up the canter, and then it was constant leg to the first fence because all of sudden the horse had no energy. She was so ready for the transition, but I guess she regret that after three strides. For the most part I was seeing all of my distances, and there were only a few areas where we really separated, but they were between the fences, meaning it was easier for me to re-adjust and re-balance. Coming up to the second fence, she picked up the pace three strides before. Considering the lag we had at the beginning, it actually made for a better fence. We came around and did three in the line, which I'm pretty sure wasn't measured because some were getting four strides, some a tight four, some a super long three (like this one 12 hand pony), and others a solid three. We got a slight reach. My turn to jump five was cut short due to an inactive inside leg, but then we took the inside turn to the last fence, and I think that's what sealed the deal. I got a first.

Then we waited, again. I drew Ripley for my flat, which didn't even run until three or four hours later. I liked Ripley. I wanted to take Ripley home. He had the smoothest stride. He was responsive. He knew how to leg yield. He was sane. It's unfortunate that he's a gelding, but I can look past that. I actually missed both leads and broke three times at the canter, plus my reins were too short for the first half of the class, but I got third. I felt a lot more comfortable and confident on Ripley, more so than I did for the majority of this past summer.

After my flat, we still had a ton more classes to go through. We weren't finished until 8:00, and I still had homework to do when I got home at 11:30 (which I didn't do. I actually just did it this morning. I'm typing this up at school. I don't even know if I'm allowed to do this), but I did get a deep dish pizza from Wawa, so they balance each other out. All in all, a good weekend. Now I just want to sleep.

Also, a heads up, the giveaway ends today at midnight Maryland time. Get your entries in!


  1. congratulations!!! awesome round with Willow :) sounds like a super duper long cold day... but hey, satin makes everything a little better!


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