We had our dressage on Friday. Poison Ivy is a FABULOUS dressage horse.
And not to brag, but I knew we could definitely win the dressage if we could hold it together.
The trot work was
We were checking all the boxes.
And the canter work started pretty well, but then she got a little crooked in her first serpentine. This is only our second time at a show competing at this level and she was just a little green for that first movement so I was a bit conservative in our first medium canter to counter canter. Which for the record, is a tough move for a 3* horse let alone the 2* horses! The second serpentine was better, so I went for it on the second medium.
You won’t win if you don’t “go for it”……..
And she did the most beautiful – uncalled for at this level – flying change.
It was a good score in spite of that, which tells me I wasn’t wrong…..we were winning………..
Oh well. There was a lot to do out there on cross country and this was definitely not going to be a dressage competition.
Poison Ivy may be the most talented overall horse in the barn right now.
But she’s young and we don’t have that much experience at the level. She’s been absolutely clocking around preliminary this year and this 2* seemed like a great idea.
But a couple weeks ago, I missed terribly to a big table. Being the smart, talented horse she is she saved herself (thank you!) which unfortunately tossed me over the jump.
That scared the heck out of her, and she lost some confidence.
Horses are not 4 wheelers.
They have feelings too.
And she has been so honest, and so good, and so willing.
But this really took her by surprise and we just didn’t have a ton of time before “the big one” to get our act back together.
We went to an event a few days later and I very cautiously jumped her around the preliminary. We got it done, and she jumped all the jumps, but it was a slow careful ride.
Let me tell you, there were no lines on the CCI2*L course that could be ridden “slowly” or “carefully”.
Cross country day was cold and wet. We started out with a bang. There were 2 combinations early on I had some concerns about.
There was a big airy table to a skinny chevron.
I was concerned about that one so I went down to watch it before I went. When a pro took a flyer to the A and then blasted past B I knew this was going to be serious.
The first water was also a huge question for a 2*. It was every bit as hard as the Intermediate’s I’ve done with a 1 stride to a drop into the water and a skinny on the out.
When we literally rocketed around those 2 combinations & made them look easy, I may have taken a big breath of relief.
There was a big
table at the top of the hill after the water.
And honestly, I’m not quite sure what happened at that one but she stopped at it.
A simple (though huge) gallop jump.
At the big events they call those “let up jumps.”
We had just done 4 difficult combinations and a flying corner with zero issues and then we stop at a let up fence.
I decided to keep going. But now that we were out of the running for a top placing I took the speed down a notch figuring we’d go cautiously for the rest of the course.
She bravely jumped the keyhole and the next tricky combination which was a one stride to a corner.
Piece of cake.
We were literally doing all the hard stuff with ease!
But then we got to the trakehner line………This lovely horse has NO issues with ditches. And I wasn’t concerned.
But it was a very forward 4 and I knew we had to “go for it” to get the 4.
I picked up the pace a bit coming into the first trakehner.
But it wasn’t enough.
We made the 4, but she had to reach for the second trakehner and you can actually hear us grunt with the effort she made over it.
Horses live in the moment.
Everything is how they feel “right now.” And when that happened I knew I was in trouble.
So when we gapped the next big gallop jump and she decided not to jump it, that was pretty darn understandable.
Unfortunately, I slid onto the top of the jump and had to climb down from there. Even though physically that’s not a “fall” it counts as a fall and was the end of our day.
We jumped the really hard stuff.
But galloping at big solid tables at 520mpm is just not something we really practice.
I guess that’s about to change.
My horse was amazing. This was a big ask after a rough couple of weeks and she deserves a medal for jumping all the tough things she did.
If you’d like to go along for the ride. Here’s the helmet cam video.