(Sorry for taking soooo long to post a blog about our adventures last weekend; I actually wrote the post Tuesday but could not find the time to upload the photos and videos.)
The weekend of showing left me wiped out; I commend the weekend warriors out there, competing every other weekend and sometimes even more often. Personally, I enjoy sleeping in way too much. Saturday was very laid-back, a great way to start the competition season. We did a pipe opener, basically a more formal cross country school, which gave me a chance to prepare for the combined test on Sunday. Five fellow boarders went out as well, and it was great to watch others as they tackled the course. Caesar and I were in the baby field, a nice little course of 11 friendly jumps. The water jump was nothing short of murky and, well, creepy. We had a stop there, but it was all my fault (slowed him to a walk and looked straight down at the creepy water); other than that, we rode the course fine, if a little fast. I had planned on trotting, but once Caesar got rolling at the canter, it just made sense to keep him there. You can hear me sort of demanding a trot from Caesar at the end--fail! Mike got the end of the course on tape. He was simultaneously snapping photos with the SLR so don’t mind the noise. And forgive the rough footage at the end. Not really sure what happened!
Saturday night, Mike and I took his folks to see a David Sedaris reading at the Meyerhoff; Mr. Sedaris was ridiculously hilarious as usual, and the evening was a good way to distract me from my building nerves. Toward the end of the night, I got a message from Megan that there was a problem with the trailer’s brakes. Fortunately, Margot was able to commit to shipping us bright and early. We woke up at 4:00 which is/was WAY, WAY, too early. I am not one for getting up even at a respectably early hour (say 6:00), but 4am? That’s just wrong. Whenever I have to get up that early, I just want to go back to the womb. Ha!
We were at the barn by 5:30 and on the road by 6:30. By the time we arrived at Loch Moy, I was feeling awake and ready to go. We tacked up quickly and had a decent warm-up. I was super tense and Caesar was overly concerned with Wyatt’s whereabouts. Just as I was about to go into the ring, I got Caesar into a nice balanced, round trot—yea! However, there was some issue at the judge’s stand and my preparation trot around the ring turned into 20 minutes of waiting. Boo! I got so frustrated and let my body get tense. Needless to say our actual ride wasn’t nearly as pretty, but isn’t that how it always goes! It was good enough to get us a 35.5—very good in my book (though I do think the judges were being very generous My figures were lacking in accuracy; this is something I know I need to work on. I get nervous and want to just “get it done” and thus rush. And our centerlines were wonky. But there were good moments for sure.
A quick tack change then back in the warm-up. Caesar took a few fences with grace and ease and seemed eager to jump more. We moseyed up to the stadium course and waited in line, something Caesar sorely disproved of. When it was our turn, we entered and booked around the course in just under 2 minutes. Not necessarily fast, but considering that almost everyone at our level trotted (SLOOOOWLY) around the course, it felt pretty good. Still have to work on regulating our pace; at this point, I feel comfortable letting him just go, but I know it’s something to work on.
I felt like a million bucks after finishing; the 4am wake-up call was definitely worth it! I was pleased with Caesar’s work. He was definitely very excited and very interested in other horses (especially in looking for his barnmates), but when I asked him to work, work he did. Honestly, I think he was looking for more and bigger jumps. Patience, pony, patience!
I was very surprised and delighted to find out that we had won our division! I am very pleased with our jumping and please with the fact that I didn’t fall apart in dressage. I have a big “to fix” list for our flatwork, but I am fine with that. We are scheduled to do a starter horse trial on May 1 and then head back to Loch Moy on May 8 for their starter HT. It’s such a gorgeous facility! I really enjoyed being there.
Enjoy the photos and video!
And video from our show jumping course at the combined test; what a good boy!
Pipe opener! Maria and Colgan, Megan and Wyatt, CZ and me
A cool panorama of Loch Moy
Caesar is still grumpy despite his blue ribbon :)
49 minutes ago