|This stall is pony approved|
My dressage test was the first one of the day the following morning. The logistics of that were a little awkward. The weather was once again absolutely horrible, so daylight was a long time coming. If there were any lit arenas to warm up in, I didn't see them. Also, I needed to pick up my numbers and sign waivers at the show office which didn't open til 45min before my ride time. So, things were a little rushed and frantic and I didn't get on the pony until about 15 minutes before my ride time.
Midge felt tired, and again a bit distracted. Our test was on the far corner of the grounds, and at that time of the morning, we were alone over there. The rain was torrential, and the wind kept blowing the letters over. I guess the bonus to that being the judge couldn't tell Midge ran out of gas a little before the letters a couple of times. Our test overall felt better than the day before, but we had a serious problem both canters (wrong lead corrected in the transition on one, then tired pony who broke to trot halfway through our circle on the second). Score was an eventing dressage 53 (62 again in 'real' dressage %) placing us 5/8.
We had to wait around a bit for the jumping. Again, both of us were soaked through, cold and miserable - while the people and the facility were awesome the weather just sucked! As I sat there, I mentally thanked Kate for her awesome blog post about the cost of improvement. Thank you Kate for helping me to stay motivated! Bloggers are the best!
|Slightly damp jump course|
The jumping was awesome - they had regular stadium jumps, but had also brought in some xc jumps too! Such a cool idea. Sadly, the starter (2'3") level didn't have any cross country jumps included in the course, so it was strictly stadium rounds for me.
And, on to the jumping. This is when it became really obvious Midge was DONE. She was a good girl and jumped everything, but we mostly trotted everything and I'm sure it looked all kinds of awkward. I think a part of it was just her being careful/cautious/unsure with new jumps in a new venue, but the largest part was just that the poor pony had zero gas left in the tank. We ended up with 4.5 time penalties, even though I'm fairly certain I have never used so much leg in my life. Our final score had 4 additional jump faults, which I am sure was a mistake, so theoretically we should have stayed in 5th rather than the 7th we got. Not worried about it at all though. I've got to say the people at the venue were amazing - even though we didn't know anyone, I'm pretty sure Midge got the biggest round of applause of the day :)
Although I was pumped about the xc jumps, I opted out of the 2'6" round because it would have been completely unfair to the pony. I took her back to the barn and tucked her in with a full hay net with apples hidden inside. We still had a long day ahead as my barn mates and coach still had to ride, not to mention the 3 hour or so trip home.
|Extra pony pic from Sat, before the rain drenched us|
From a competitive standpoint, I'm admittedly a little disappointed in our results through the weekend. I didn't think I was an overly competitive person, but I guess I sort of am :) When I got home and checked the scores, though, I noticed that everyone but two of us were using the starter division as a warmup for higher divisions, so maybe I don't need to feel bad about how green we looked compared to everyone else! From an 'our first away shows' standpoint I'm beyond pleased. We both showed up and did our jobs, now it's just a matter of fine tuning and being a little more confident out there.
-I need to work on Midge's fitness.
-I need to chill out and not stress. We've got this.
-More work needed in the canter. We're 100% improved, but it's still our weakest point by far.
-The pony is 150% honest to anything I point her at jump wise.
-Why do I not own a waterproof coat?
-Camping in Feb is cold no matter what part of the country you're in.
-I don't need to worry so much about courses and dressage tests, I remembered all three without issues.
-I had a previously undiscovered talent for calling dressage tests.
-Large-ish shows are not nearly as confusing/intimidating as I thought they might be.
-My barn mates and coach are awesome - so supportive and helpful, and talked me off the ledge multiple times throughout the weekend.
-I wouldn't say this was a fun weekend, or that I'm hooked on the whole showing thing, but I'm intrigued. There is potential for fun :)
-I wouldn't trade my pony for event he most talented eventers in our barn. She was easy to deal with, she did her job with minimal drama and most importantly, she's the cutest.
Next big outing: Possibly a return to this same show series mid March, barring that, definitely a 4 day eventing clinic in mid April. I'm SO excited for the clinic.