Saturday: We came. We saw. We didn't wreck the trailer.
|the veteran show horse no longer paws himself a hole to china when left unattended.|
very proud of how much this dude has grown up over the years.
I'd call the first show of the year a total success while giving myself major pats on the back for doing everything completely by myself. Well, except hooking the trailer up. I borrowed the BO for a second to lend me some literal man power to yank my trailer the half an inch over it needed to be to line up to my hitch so I didn't have to attempt to back up to it again.
But everything else? To all the women who independent, throw your hands up at me!
No, but don't actually because you're too busy driving your own rig.
|"lamest joke ever. now feed me."|
We got to the show with a little over an hour to spare. I wanted to make sure I had enough time to check in, scope out the facilities, and get myself and Robert settled in without having to feel rushed. Once I got my little corner set up with chair, cooler, and book, I let Bobby graze for a good twenty minutes or so before slowly getting my tack around for dressage.
We warmed up in the indoor where Bobby started out staring at everything. He'd almost fall over himself he'd whip his head around so much to see what was going on. Once we got trotting though, he settled into a groove, and we finished our warm up with some really good canter work.
I took him out to the little grassy area overlooking the dressage ring and walked around to let him have a look at where he was. Another rider was supposed to go before me, but she said she wasn't feeling ready enough to go in, so I went down to ask the judge if Bobby and I could switch places with her. The judge was totally fine with it and we were able to head right in.
|the wonderful show secretary got some dressage pictures|
of us, so that's what you're going to get to fill this post.
Bobby still felt pretty distracted coming down center line for the first time, giving the flowers along the letters several hairy looks, but once we made the first turn, he got down to business and put in a very workman-like test.
His free walk wasn't there--no jigging or being rude, he was just too busy looking around to do any real stretching. We got a well deserved 6 on that, but that was our lowest score of the day.
His canter felt super, super good both directions. I felt him anticipate a little bit as we came across the diagonal in trot since we've been practicing our First tests lately, but he didn't make a move to actually go for it which I was grateful for.
His final turn down the center line almost went to shit. I felt him tense like he wanted to break to canter again so I gave him a hard half halt--a little too hard as he then almost came back to the walk, but I was on him quickly enough that he just lost the rhythm for a second. His halt was square as he's a boss at that, but I didn't close my left leg and he shifted his haunches just a bit that way.
Still, the judge's comments were very flattering. She told me it was "a lovely test to watch" and that it looked like we were "on a track". She asked if I had anyone videoing, and when I told here I was there by myself, she said that it would have been worth paying someone to video for me.
Dressage judges seriously love Bobby. I'm not complaining, but sometimes I'm kind of like, "What are you possibly seeing that I'm not?!" We got 8s on our collective marks with the comment "Exceptional". First time for everything.
|sit the fuck up, carly. i mean, really.|
We ended up with a 26.75 which satisfied my goal to score under 30. With the work he's been putting in at home, there was no reason he shouldn't have achieved that.
We had an hour between dressage and stadium. After getting Bobby sponged off and settled back in, I went to walk the course. It was in one of the farm's paddocks. There was quite a bit of terrain--nothing really serious, but enough to factor in. Every division started off with two big cross rails, and then there was one more X on course, an oxer to finish on, and everything else was verticals. It seemed deceptively easy, but it actually didn't get my nerves going at all, so that was definitely a plus.
I got on with fifteen minutes to spare since I thought the jumps looked so inviting and easy. I walked around warm up while the ground crew set the jumps to Novice height, and then went right in from there. Again, with the X's to start, I wasn't really too concerned and the jumps in warm up were still set at Intro height.
We picked up what I felt was a pretty good canter and turned in to the first line. Immediately we went into default WE FUCKING SUCK AT THIS mode. Bobby sucked back then charged the last couple strides, jumping flat, fast, and over his shoulder. On landing, he rooted down and I did nothing to get him balanced again.
Rinse and repeat. Over and over and over.
We jumped clear because we pretty much always jump clear, but FUCK. We've both been doing so much better at home that I was seriously disappointed.
I'd last minute signed up to do another round at Training height, but I asked if I could just go right back in and do the Novice course again. They were totally okay with that (and probably a little relieved). I trotted in to the first jump just for peace of mind, and made myself think a little quicker and react a little faster after each jump. It wasn't perfect, but it was still miles better than round one.
Afterwards, the owner of the farm who was helping set fences came over and was basically like, "That's all on you. You can't maintain a consistent pace. You need to do this, this, and this." I was like, "I KNOW."
He didn't do it to be mean or anything of course, but it did annoy me a little bit. I guess what annoyed me was more that we're so much fucking better at home and then we come to a show and look like fucking jagaloons.
It's frustrating when everyone assumes you're on this green, inexperienced horse. It's a nice excuse, but it's not the truth anymore. We just can't get it together in the show ring. And I'm fully sticking to my guns when I say "we". Most of it's me, but come on, Bobby. You've got to give a little in return, bro.
|givin' a little luvin|
Regardless, we came home with two blue ribbons, and I met a COTHer who was parked next to me and was able to give me some leads on trainers in the Geneseo area. We're entered in the June 7th HT at GVRDC, and while I almost wish I hadn't bothered renewing my USEA membership, Area I doesn't seem to know what unrecognized horse trials are so I have limited options. Now I just have to sneak in as many off property jumping rounds as I can.
I will defeat you, show jumping demons!
|ears up because he was watching an episode of "when shipping boots attack"|
a couple trailers down.