You never want to end a weeked with "RF" in the Final Place column. So obviously our weekend didn't go as planned. There were plenty of good things about the weekend, but there were certainly things that could've gone better!
On a very wonderful and exciting note, I have found a solution to my braiding woes! It is in the form of a hair gel called Ultra Glue. Enough said.
I had only 10, yes 10, reasonably sized braids that looked fantastic and stayed in all night!
On another good note, we got a perfect parking spot at the show, at the end of the row, so we had a whole side free, right next to the stadium and stadium warm-up and the dressage rings and warm-up just a few steps ahead!
I lunged Ben in the indoor, which was stadium warm-up, but nobody was in there yet. He was pretty good, kind of nervous and tense, but then started to settle a bit. There was still nobody in the indoor, so I decided to just warm-up in there. After mounting, and dealing with a good five minutes of bucking, backing up, leaping, kicking out, etc., I finally got him to go forward and we warmed up for about 25 minutes. He was okay. Not as good as I hoped he would be.
So we went in the ring to do our test. It was the usual: it had some awesome moments and some terrible moments. I just wish my horse could hold himself together for the four minutes we are in the ring. At one point, gathering him up from the free walk, he stopped dead for about 5 seconds, and in the left canter transition, he stopped and bucked. Ugh horse, get your act together! We got a 41 which put us in DFL after dressage. For you who do not know, DFL= Dead F***ing Last. Great.
I didn't let my test bother me too much though, and we had a great stadium warm-up (along with some exuberant bucking!) and a fantastic stadium round, despite him spooking at the flowers in front of the judges stand.
So then we headed to cross country. The course looked really fun, there was only one big fence that was a huge, wide table that was most definetely maximum width and height. The terrain would play a big factor because it was fields and woods. The fields were relatively flat, but the woods had really steep uphill and downhill.
The course started off in the first field where you went straight out of the start box and over a little log shared with Beginner Novice. Then uphill and to the right was a small, raised hogsback that brought you up into the woods. Then you had a steep downhill out of the woods, a few strides in the field to a rolltop. Then you headed slightly downhill to a little ditch. And I mean little. Tiny.
From the ditch there was a bending line to a feeder, then a short gallop up to a bench, and then a stone wall jumped into the woods. After a lot of uphill and downhill in the woods, there was a hanging log, a lot more uphill and downhill in the woods to another field, which had 9a and 9b in it. They were offset logs two strides apart. Then you galloped to the other side of the field to the previously mentioned huge table.
Back into the woods along a dirt road, you came across a very narrow house, then out into a small field to jump a triplebar/fruitstand type fence, and then a zigzag. Finally you galloped back into the woods along another dirt road, to the last fence, a hanging log.
The course looked really fun. Too bad I didn't make it past the ditch.
First 3 fences were fantastic. Slowed to a canter a bit before the ditch, let him break to trot to look at it...
Too bad I decided to look at it too. Note to self: do not look into ditches!
So combined with me being bad and looking in the ditch, and me being bad and leaning forward expecting a big jump, he ducked out and I went right over his shoulder. Plop.
Seriously one of the lightest falls I have ever had and I totally deserved it, it was just frustrating. But I sure was glad for my sense of humor as I laughed it off on the walk back to catch my horse who was running away. Thanks Ben, I love you too.
The best news of all: I was wearing my helmet cam:
Next stop is ENYDCTA in a little less than 3 weeks. I convinced my parents to let me go up the night before and stable since its 3 hours away. I'm so excited about that! I also think it will be really good for Ben to be there the night before and get used to his surroundings before he has to perform. However, now I am extremely paranoid that I am going to forget to bring something really important because I've never stabled overnight before!
I was also supposed to have a lesson tonight, but when I was lunging Ben yesterday he took a funky step and was then a bit off on his right hind. Boo. I'm not too concerned, since I saw him do it and it was very subtle, but if he is sound today I'm only going to work him lightly, long and low, for about 30 minutes. Don't want to take any risks. I cold hosed him yesterday for 10 minutes so if he is not sound today, he'll get cold hosed for 20 and some bute. But I think he will be fine today.
Thanks for reading!