This week has been a very busy one for us, and it feels like we’ve kicked it back into high Show Gear. We had a really great lesson early in the week, getting us back on track with jumping. I mean, it did NOT start off that way, as apparently we don’t even remember how to do a simple grid.
That was just embarrassingly awful. But we’re not perfect, and it had been a while, for her even moreso than me, and the two rusty souls together had some trouble. But Holly laughed with/at us, and by the end of the lesson had us back on track and looking and feeling fabulous.
Like a completely different pair. Cally woke up and remembered how fun jumping was after the first time through the grid, and by the end was back to feeling like her old self, so keen and joyful to be jumping.
I was feeling really optimistic about Friday, which was the sidesaddle at the Showplace Spring Festival. Except I was apparently the only one entered, and though we got emergency gear in place for Holly to fill if necessary, the other rider who’d been considering it had a lameness issue come up, so there was just me. Naturally, I found this out as I was in the barn aisle discussing with the braider how to to finish off the horse’s tail braid. So I paid her and pulled out a bunch of lovely, completely unused braids. Despite the disappointment of not getting to show a gorgeous and ready to go horse, I can’t say I’m too sad about it, because it was absolutely monsooning here on Friday. Like, my birdbath was overflowing. Not really the most crushing of days to unhitch the trailer, go home, and burrow back under the blankets to sleep for two more hours, rather than getting drenched and having to ride around in soaking wet wool on a wet, grumpy horse.
Which left me extra thankful I’d made a last-minute decision, at Holly’s prompting, to enter a local dressage show on Sunday. One of our other riders was going to do a 1st level test, so I figured in the interest of scheduling convenience, I’d just do Training 3, since those things should be close together. That wasn’t a great decision on my part, because firstly, since we were being entered by our trainer, they’d just schedule us near each other anyway; and secondly, she’s only been back in real work for like 2 weeks and is not really fit or strong behind yet. Plus I just flat out don’t love the T3 test.
Weather was perfect on Sunday, though, and we had mid-afternoon ride times, which was so totally civil and relaxed in the prep. Rolled out of bed at my normal time, had breakfast, and had time to get to the barn at a leisurely pace and pack up and get cleaned up. It’s also only a 5 minute haul over to the barn hosting the show, which was easy.
We warmed up lightly, but she felt good. Then we went in the big dark spooky indoor, and lost a bit of that goodness–she wasn’t bad, per se, just super tense and more interested in her environment than in me, which led to her being really inconsistent in contact and me riding a bit defensively, and in her also being a bit tired by the end of the test. Like, I was having to use my (one, itty bitty) spur during the last canter circle. But we got through the test, and I’ll take it as a first outing of the year to build on.
We finished 5th, which is fine by me, as this outing was decidedly not about the ribbon, just about getting out and getting her back in a dressage ring, but more importantly, getting into a full-sized dressage ring to run through our planned musical freestyle for the upcoming season! And I was able to do that in the outdoor dressage arena set up for warmup! Don’t want to share the whole test yet, and I don’t have all the music together, but here’s just a snippet of the test.
I feel what I have laid out rides really well for us, and I’ve got some fun ideas for the music for us. Now I just have to figure out how to edit it all together. That can’t be that complicated, I edit video as part of my job, so this can’t be much different than that, once I figure out what we’re using and how long each bit needs to be. Or, failing that, I’ll beg help from one of my coworkers.