|although 8 a.m. does make for cool weather and pretty pictures.|
Dressage warm up was on a hill which seemed a little sketch, but what do I know. With Training and Novice divisions warming up consecutively it was also a complete mad house. Oh, and have I complained about how early we got there? Because the dressage warm up was not only on a hill, but also next to giant trees which meant it took a long time for sun to reach the dew slick grass.
|bobby slipped and nearly fell on his giant head coming out of this corner|
not once but twice.
I'm pretty much a wandering idiot in warm up because I seem to be the only person that doesn't just park it on a circle and assume everyone else is going to avoid them. Now I do warm up on a circle at home, so by focusing almost solely on skirting around everyone I have yet to bring work at home over to work at a show. As such, we went into the ring with Bobby's quiet but unimpressive training level frame and puttered around without much incident.
The test was "meh". Nothing went horribly wrong. He didn't do great coming out of the free walk to medium walk, and he had a "Ha ha, LLAMA!" moment at the trot heading into our second left circle. I knew he was a bit behind my leg the whole time, but I wasn't sure how much I could push without sending him sprawling.
We did, however, get a 9 for our entrance and an 8 for a change of rein at trot, but the rest were meh 6s and 7s. We ended up with a 32.17 which I thought was pretty fair. (Thanks for picking up my test, Niamh! Not sure why results took so long to come out.)
We fortunately had a few hours between dressage and stadium because it took us like ten bajillion years to walk the cross country course. And pretty much all of that time was walking to and from the course, not actually on it. We came back and our trailer neighbor told us how impressed she was with Bobby who had apparently taken a nap the whole time we were gone. That was one good thing about leaving so early in the morning--Bobby had to get his morning siesta in and didn't paw himself a grave at the trailer, the punk.
Robert, Hubby, and I went over to say hi to Niamh and Riley and Emily and Brody before getting tacked up and heading over to warm up for stadium. Usually I'm a hot mess before stadium, but I was so pleased with myself for thinking that the cross country course looked like a walk in the park that every time I started to feel anxious about jumping, I just thought about how fun the xc was going to be.
First warm up jump was a cross rail. Easy, no problems. Came around to the vertical. I saw no distance, so I stared down that mother fucker like it would make one magically appear. Bobby took a flyer and I lost my left rein mid-air. Awesome.
Amazingly that didn't rattle me, and we came back around and jumped it just fine.
Then I thought to myself, "Recovered without incident from one mistake, don't press your luck." I didn't do another warm up jump, and instead went over to watch the course. I'm not sure if that was the wrong thing to do or not. Warm up was pretty small and having to avoid riders both frustrates and sometimes unnerves me, but at the same time I probably should have done a few more jumps to get into a better rhythm. Or any rhythm.
We finally get our number called to go in. I've been watching horses slide all over the place this whole time, and rails--while not flying out in excess--are dropping. But I'm not nervous! We turn into the first jump, a big oxer, and Bobby moves up on his own to take it with no help from me as I stare at it completely blank.
|from this angle it makes it look like i know what i'm doing!|
Jump two is another oxer off of a roll back from fence one. Bobby slipped through the turn so I naturally pulled him back to a total crawl, then continued to hold onto his face with no added leg while simultaneously staring down the fence. He made it over, but it was squirrelly. Fence three was off a bending line, which we just practiced at home. But no. I just pointed him in its general direction and sat there doing nothing. He chipped, but cleared it.
Fence four was off a hard turn with not a lot of room from the rail for the approach. Pull, no leg, stare it down. Bobby slammed on the breaks and slid into it, knocking the whole thing down. He was done saving my ass over giant oxers when all I was doing was working against him. "You don't want to jump these, lady? Well then we just won't jump them!"
I knew things were not going to improve from there. I needed to kick on and getting him moving about a hundred time more forward than he was going, and I needed to take a hold and actually ride. Hate to say it, but it wasn't going to happen. I asked if I could retire and still do the cross country. I got permission for that and headed out of the ring to change into his elevator bit--which he really should have been in for stadium, but that's a discussion that can be its own post.
It was probably a five mile walk to the start of cross country (Like, srsly. Longest. Walk. Ever.), but you did have to ride through a creek to get there so Bobby at least got to get his toes wet. Hubby had grand ambitions of making it all the way down to the water complex for pictures, but only made it to the middle of fences 3 and 4.
|fence 3, a giant bench shared with training.|
We left the start box, and I spaced again. But I gave myself a mental (and verbal because I am such a psycho when I talk to myself on course) slap and kicked on. And then kept kicking with the mindset of "If we go fast, I won't have time to be a complete fucking retard!" That plan was well thought out and well executed. Bobby was totes happy that I was finally on board to play and let him move out a bit.
|okay, so we did have one minor discussion about speed, but still.|
and look at that freshly adjusted right leg reaching up!
He did leave out an entire stride to fence five, the red ramp, which you can totally see on my helmet cam.
He was finally feeling secure on the grass after sliding all day (everyone else was too) until about halfway through the course. Cantering downhill to a big roll top he started scrambling a bit, but he listened to my half halts and we got re-balanced before jumping that one. He actually jumped the ditch instead of cantering through it, and then tried to get bonus points by also jumping the shadow directly after it.
Over a big log, and then another log just before the water. He saw the log, perked up, saw the water beyond it, and tried to suck back a little. Oh, hell no. I sat deep and drove him on with an encouraging smack behind my leg as we went over the log, then gave him another smack right at the water's edge. He plowed through and jumped out over the roll top without breaking stride. Good pony!
After the water was a step jump which, after falling on my head over a similar jump at Bucks a couple of years ago, still gives me anxiety. It was the best jump on course all day though! Yay, pony! Down the hill through the woods where a family was trying to stay out of our way by hiding behind some bushes. I was waiting for Bobby to spook at them as we went by, but he was too busy looking for the next jump for such nonsense.
|we're being watched....|
He took a long spot up the bank, but made the two strides to the log after it easily. He slipped again coming out of the turn, but was fine for the long run home to the final jump which he also took with no problems.
Finally!!! A cross country course with no penalties! It's been too long!
this is worth watching if only for listening to how fucking crazy
i sound at the water jump.
Also, let me just say that nothing annoys me more than the fact that my FUCKING HELMET VISOR FELL DOWN AGAIN. Get out the way, ho! Ugh, so annoying. So ugly. So much hate over it.
So nevermind that stadium was a complete bust, and we finished with a letter and not a number. At least it was an 'R' and not and 'E', and at least I redeemed myself on cross country.
We got to hang out with some fabulous blog friends!
the ponies, not the riders. come on now.
|caution: out of control ottbs.|
Next order of business is a dressage show 9/7. After that, we'll be looking for some.....
.....wait for it.....
I know. I KNOW.