This weekend I took 5 horses to a competition. One training level, 3 preliminary and 1 Intermediate.
There was a lot riding on this weekend for several reasons.
It’s been a long,
It’s been unbearably hot,
I drove thousands of miles,
and to be honest,
I’m just flat out tired.
I’m ready for the season to be over…..and the horses and their jockey to get a vacation from all of it.
The big thing riding on this weekend, is ideally you don’t want to end the season with a big failure. So potentially if someone was super naughty we’d need to reroute to one – more – show before we end the season.
And I don’t wanna……..
The other reason this was a big weekend is it was our last prep before the BIG one. The BIG one is the FEI event at the Ocala Jockey Club and I *hopefully* have one in the 2* and one in the 3*.
Here’s why that’s such a big deal.
I missed it last year because of this little incident.
And I missed it the year before because of that little incident.
My entire reason for starting the season so early this year………. and nearly killing us all with heat stroke was that I wanted “options” if things went sideways. If you put all your hopes and dreams in the last event of the season and it goes poorly you’re just out of luck……… & time.
But here we are on the final count down!
I approached each phase on each horse as a box to be checked, and was mentally counting how many dressage tests, show jumping rounds and cross country jumps I had left.
Dressage was relatively uneventful
and all 5 ponies were obedient and placed well.
However, there was one lesson learned. When you do a 1/2 10m circle I’ve always gone past the letter a little bit to give myself a little extra time to get straight on the center line. I’m pretty sure a fearless leader at some point had me do that. Well.
Apparently my “pass the letter a little bit” has grown over time and the judge said I went “much too far”.
While I was super annoyed, that is invariably one of those valuable life lessons. Just like the time I got a ONE for a halt & rein back where the judge underlined and circled “Immobility”. I’ve seen horses at 5*s who were rearing and running sideways get a 3 instead of a one for a halt.
But believe me, my horses all completely understand the “immobility” part now.
Show Jumping was next.
To be continued………