In fact our pony clubbers won all three dressage divisions! SO proud! Hard work and dedication is starting to pay off. There is video and pictures but those will be uploaded at a later date.
By the way Steady and I did an one day Horse Trial yesterday! Not keeping you out of the loop on purpose it has just been too busy. We had a fantastic XC lesson on Wednesday with Laz. It was awesome and I think if I could just do that on a regular basis I could live without competing. Laz made several good points but two I really took hold of was, "make sure it is MY trot/canter/gallop". And, "help him understand that XC isn't just going out there and running off. That training is in our near future and don't be afraid of time penalties to get it right".
There are some side stories that need be told because it wouldn't be my life if it was boring so bear with me. I get home from the fair at 11:30 pm on Thursday night with the trailer full of Lily and Elaina's stuff. Friday I wake up to a messy house, no food in the house and needing to not only prepare for the show but unpack from the fair. Phew finally get out of the house at 3:30 with a two hour drive ahead of me. Arriving realizing I forgot shavings, a muck bucket and oats. Not bad for an exhausted show Mom turned Eventer overnight. I had 4 things needing to get done. One being time sensitive, getting to Rural King before they close. I needed to walk the XC course, get in a ride and braid. First was course walk. I was very grateful I know the HHP very well and had each jump memorized and visualized after one walk. Back to barn to ride. Got to the warm up arena and the fire breathing dragon that consistently shows up at HHP was there true to form. I was not trying to fix anything but was getting frustrated that the only thing he had on his mind was getting the HE!! out of the arena back to the barn. Then the rain came and we got soaked and he didn't like that. I got off thinking fine enough is enough I will just be done and walk him back to the barn. But then he was being a bully on the ground still trying to get out of the arena and not paying attention to running me over. So he got a punch in the side for being a jerk and I remounted. Pretty much just trying to stay alive until we arrived at the barn walking/prancing back on the wet slippery concrete. We made it back and I left for the store with only 30 minutes to find it. I was not excited about what that ride meant for tomorrow.
All three kiddos were accompanying me and Ryan even came down. He came for the near by poker tournaments but still he came :). I ran to Rural King getting lost only a few times stopping in the ghetto Twice for directions and was given directions by a pretty shady shirtless fellow but still he got me on the right track. I walk through the door at 9:02pm (they close at 9) and received several dirty looks. I couldn't tell if they were looking at me that way because I was soaking wet wearing baby blue half chaps with helmet hair or because they had forgotten to lock the door.
Then it was back to the Horse Park to braid. Found out that the fireworks were being set off right across from the barn. I had my concerns about what that meant for the horses stress levels. Steady seemed unphased. Even gazing out of his stall, watching them. It was great entertainment for the kids while I got the braiding started. Finished up about 11:30pm then headed to the hotel. Husband was waiting there for us. I will again may or may not have tried to get an adorable fuzzy corgi into the room just to sleep for the night. But in my attempt to nonchalantly get him in the room he escapes, runs right up to the front door where the manager happened to be standing there having a cigarette then proceeded to RUN through the front door. Just about then I caught up to him and grabbed his fuzzy little butt and made a break for it. Sheeesh. In the process I bent my pinky nail back about a third of the way down and it stuck that way. Groooooossss. I couldn't get it to go back and it hurt like a B. Husband dug some surgical scissors so I could straighten things out. But really through the front door Hank? Nice!
A.M. Saturday. 9:22 dressage ride. Get to warm up and Steady is chill! Relaxed and attentive to me. Whaaa? Could it be true? We had about 20 minutes and spent most of it walking. I little bit of trotting and establishing some bend. One canter transition each direction and it was go time. We entered at A in a perfectly straight line (got 8 on that!) It was nice. Really nice. I was able to think about things and put in some effort. Most of the time in dressage I am just trying to hold him together long enough to get to the halt. Free walk was Ahhmazing (8!) he anticipated the w/t transition there and I got a couple lower numbers for silly technical things like waiting to long to ask for canter. Not getting close enough to the rail in one spot. Stuffs that are pretty easy fixes. Over all our score was 35.2 in 4th place and only 3.5 points away from the leader who was Nadeem Noon I might add.
My goal for this event was to win some moneh! So I didn't really care if I was 1st just top thoroughbred score. I knew two of the people in front of me were not TB's so I had a good chance!
Cross country was at 11:04. A nice relaxing hour and we were back at it. I took about 15 minutes to warm up. I went over about 5 jumps and then headed over. I took Lee Ann's ideas about not letting it be a race for him and we trotted to the first jump. And we were off. Jump two was smooth sailing. He peeked at a palisade hiding in the woods..lol. Then jump 3 was "mary's sunrise". this is the only fence that I have ever had to use a whip on. Others had come back saying a lot of horses were looking at it today. We were about 30 ft out and he saw it and put on the brakes. Weird? I thought the long approach would be good for him to take a look at it. Wrong. It took some convincing and little spank, a bit of talking and he moved forward. Once he got within 15 feet of it he locked on and took off for it. That's my boy! #4 through the woods #5, 6. Out of the woods, up and over the little hill. He eyeballed the prelim corner.. Ahhh no Steady not yet! Canter through the water, out and over 8, took the ditch option for 9. 10 was a straw jump, 11 a&b rolltops sailed through. I pulled him up some before 12 because it was a itty bitty jump and then a quick turn to a drop. I knew the jump wouldn't slow him any so I wanted to be able to have some steering on the other side. I did and it was great. He launched a tiny bit off the drop at 13 and I needed to collect my reins and get him back on track quickly to the final jump at 14. Then through the finish flags. What an awesome run! I felt like I held him back quite a bit because I wanted to be sure I had the controls and that he wasn't running the show. After seeing that I got .8 penalties for being over time I feel that I did a nice job and rating the speed for BN and that maybe it may just be ok to let him open up a bit now that we have some better communication. After XC we were an even 36 standing in 3rd. Behing Nad and K.C. at My Eventing Addiction. I was playing with the big dogs and keeping up! Felt good, real good. Ok K.C. was competing with her pony but he is a bad ass pony.
Staium was at 1pm. Down pours made the afternoon a bit more exciting. I got rained on for a few minutes, just enough to get nice and wet then it cleared up by the time I made it to the warm up. So funny thing I popped over the cross rail. Then went over it one more time and as we approached Steady lost more and more steam. Until he totally unenthusiastically stumbled his feet halfway over it. Knocking it down. Bwahahahaha OK Steady I get it, it is boring. I am not used to having to ask for more go and it just made me laugh. The ring steward was shouting for someone to GO right now. I jumped the vertical, the oxer once then figured well I guess I will go if it will calm her down a bit ;) Kidding I totally appreciate each and every volunteer. The course was windy and turny with two bending lines, a rollback and a 90 degree turn in about 5 strides. My husband made it to the park just before I went out to ride. I was telling him where we were in the standings and that we only had stadium left. He said, well you guys are good at that right? My response was, well last time I was here I fell off in stadium! LOL But really it was a fun course to ride and Steady was fun to ride it on. Usually I get turning anxiety because our turning in the past has been bad. But I am happy to say all the work we have been doing has payed off. He was amazing. To the point that I maybe decided to nit pick a little. I decided that I he could take a deeper spot so I held him at jump 5 and on the good side he was intuned and listened perfectly. He took MY spot and well, took a rail. I decided at that point to let him do his job cause he can obviously do it better than me and the rest of the course was smooth sailing. I finally figured out how to ride a two stride combiniation without choking and I was on top of the moon about how the day went. I thought I had come away with no photographic or video evidence but I found this really rockin picture on facebook taken by My Horse Loves Eventing. So thanks to her you at least have this to look at...I hate to sound narcissistic but dayum we look good.
After the rail that gave us a 40 that had us in a tie for third. I wasn't sure how the person I was tied with got his points but I did know that with getting time penalties on XC that most likely meant that puts me in 4th. I was right. So our score was good enough for 3rd but inevitabley put us in 4th but non of the others were OTTB. SO that made us the high point TB for our division!!! Winning monnies is fun!!