There’s so much to recap, I decided it’d be best to do it in two installations. Enjoy!
So, we decided to leave a day early and school xc at a great schooling course on the way to Cle Elum. This course was 7 hours away. The event was 9 hours away. Any of you from the east coast? Would any of you ever drive 9 hours to an event that wasn’t a HUGE deal, or wasn’t a chamionships? I think not. Sadly, here in Idaho, 9 hours “isn’t that far.” It’s really messed up.
So, we arrive at our xc course and head to bed for an early morning start. At about 11pm it begins to downpour. And then the wind! We called it the “end of the world storm.” I slept in my truck and the truck was swaying side to side. Sadly, when we awoke in the morning, it was still pouring and windy. We decided to buck up, push ride times back a bit and see if the weather improved any.
The weather didn’t really improve. As I went to pick out Georgie’s feet, lo and behold she had lost a shoe. I don’t know when, but her timing was really bad considering we were studding for the xc course.
I had already put studs in two of her feet and then had to remove the front ones. I am telling you this only because it made my back kill. My back became a stiff board with no bend. We decided to go school without the shoe as the footing was so soft, but between my back and the ground being slick we called it quits after about 3 jumps. I felt like a total loser, but didn’t want to injure my back further and not be able to ride at the event.
I called the farrier early on the morning we arrived to the show grounds. Unfortunately, he has a real job, so he couldn’t arrive until 7pm. Which meant Georgie would remain in her stall all day so as not to get a stone bruise on the gravel. It also meant we wouldn’t be getting a dressage lesson before the show. I remained weirdly calm about it. Instead I obsessed with keeping her stall clean and everyone else’s ride times. (There were 7 of us there together.)
On our way to meet the farrier, it became apparent that my fit pony had been in a 12×12 stall all day. She whinnied and pranced and would not stand still for the farrier. I decided to ride her once the shoe was on and we just worked on not being tense, and getting comfortable with the show grounds. About 35 minutes in, my horse had found her brain.
The next morning was dressage day! I told Sarah I wanted her to get after me in warm up. We’ve worked so hard in dressage, I didn’t want to just let it all go. It was a great warm up. Georgie was back to her wonderful calm self and responsive to what I was asking of her. The canter was rough on my back, I couldn’t sit deep into the saddle, so I kind of perched lightly. It doesn’t make getting Georgie collected very easy, but she’s a good girl and did what she could. The highlight of it ALL however, was when a 4* rider trotted by me and said “That is a lovely horse.” Georgie! In dressage! Honestly, coolest thing ever.
Our test. It was going so well! But after the lengthen canter, I brought her back and she broke into the trot. After that we had a hard time getting the rhythm back. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great. We ended up with a 35 and 11th out of 21 people. I was totally fine with the score and it motivated me that we needed to push ourselves to be double clean the rest of the event if we wanted to end up above the middle of the pack.
And that ends the beginning of the show… Stay tuned for more excitement and less mishaps!!