I couldn't come up a catchy title that summerized the last two days so I went with the obvious. I would be amiss not to mention how amazing and supportive all of you have been through this tough time on my life. Thank you.
Next on the agenda is an apology. I had every intention of coming home with so much electronic evidence of the weekend that you all would be sick of it. I had the video camera, helmet cam and camera all charged and packed along but as soon as I get into that show environment I loose all sense of direction and every time come home with very little. This time was no different. So other than a few cell phone photos and videos there is not much to share. Sorry :(
Now on to the nitty gritty of what was the show experience this weekend. Like all of you suggested I put on my big girl panties and got through the tough part of packing and preping to get mine, my eight year old daughter's and our baby lamb's butts to the Heartland CT. That proved to be the toughest part of this whole weekend. And yes you read that right I took a baby lamb to the horse show with us. It was the only option other than leaving it at home to die since there is NO way on earth my husband would have bottle fed it every 5 hours that it needs. So a three week old lamb named Mr. Pink in a diaper loaded up into the truck and got on the road right on time.
Hauling was stress free and just wonderful (love the trailer)! We arrive and the rain started and the temperature had dropped 25 degrees in the 2 hour drive. My little helper and I dodged raindrops(unsuccessfully) as we unpacked. I spent some time tryin to make Steady look a little more like a show pony and less like a back yard farm mule(fairly sucessfully, even without a bath the boy cleans up nice). A friend later showed up and once she was unpacked a few of us went to grab a bite to eat and catch up. I honestly think half of why I do all of this is get to see and spend time with people like them. You will not find a warmer and more kind group of people than those in the eventing crowd. Sure there are those still that stick in their high school like cliches but the ones who are not like that will literally give you the shirt off their back to help you out. There has not been a show or clinic that I have not heard the words, "do you need anything?" They have taught me how to think beyond myself and for that I am so very grateful and for everything they do for me and for getting to know them. We got back to the horse park after filling out bellies and hearts, made our beds in the truck and called it a night at about 11:30.
I didn't have to ride until noon so I figured I could easily sleep until 7:30. My daughter on the other hand as a morning person had complete other plans. So just after 6am I was answering questions like, "Mom! Is Jessica gonna still ride at six?!" Mom, when are going get up? Mom, there are people out at the barn already!" At that point I resigned to the fact that I would NOT be sleeping anymore that day. So we set off to the bathrooms to brush our teeth and make the lamb a bottle.
We had a relaxing morning. I helped here and there with people getting ready for their early rides and leisurely got prepared for ours. Little did I know that would be the only relaxing part of the day. I planned to be on at 11 to give is an hour to warm up. Which I thought was a reasonable amount of time. Little did I know what Steady had in store for me that day. I bring him out of his stall to give him a look around and within two minutes he was doing his best giraffe impression and so worked up that he was quaking....hmmmm. What is the deal here? I get on to find out that he does not have a walk. I only got trot, trot, trot, jig, jig, trot, jig, jig, jig, trot, giraffe, frozen giraffe, jig, jig frozen giraffe jig, trot jig. If you think reading that sentence was annoying just multiply that by a hundred for the next hour and you will have our entire warm up. Not even one moment of relaxation found. I handled it as well as I could and as our ride time approachd I could start to feel myself start balling up with tension. Not a great combination. So time arrived and I was at a loss as to how this was going to turn out. Turns out our test went even worse than our warm up did. Not kidding, it was completely awful. I have never had even one dressage ride like this on him ever. As soon as we entered the outer arena I could tell it was not going to go well. He went from crazy forward and quick in warm up to completely sucked back and not wanting to move forward. The plan at that moment became; do the patern, stay on course and stay in the arena. I can gladly tell you we did all of those things and did not get eliminated. That is a positive right? :/ Beyond that the whole test was complete shit. The video of it will not be posted and it will shortly be deleted from my video camera as a piece forgotten history. It is even painful to watch for me and I think it is best to be forgotten. I learned alot. Let me rephrase I learned NOTHING from the test itself but from the whole experience but we will get into the take aways in a different post. So after a the best part of the test, a square halt a salute and a sharmeful look from the judge making it clear that she thought I had NO businiess on the back of a horse we walked out of the areana to head over to the show jumping warm up. More to come on that front...but as a teaser the day may have started off as a hot ball of craziness but it ended on a VERY high note and I am still on a high. If you have ever evented you know there is only ONE thing that gives you that kind of high and it is not in an arena!