MORE RAIN, WHY, WHY?
This Is What You Wanted? Why Didn’t You JUST Say So?
Last time you read about how BAD my horse was. As in extremely bad pony behavior. So it rained all day on Friday and I hemmed and hawed about scratching for the CT at Blue Goose. But as the usual procrastinator I am (You should see me commit on booking a flight!) I just thought about it all day and night but ended up getting up at 5:30 am on Saturday to go to the show. I kept thinking if he was really bad maybe I would just ask if I could jump and not dressage (if we can call it that).
(Quick recap, Remus canter departure flew away on Wednesday at my last lesson, and was like in never never land so I was wondering if I clapped hard enough, that the fairies would be nice enough to bring it back to me. They did!) YAY!
So I got to the barn and loaded Mr Remus up (I can’t again stress the brilliant idea of buying a horse that is colored like dirt. Viola. You can pretty much bring him up to snuff with a couple brushes and a damp towel). I love paints and grays and all but jeez a buckskin comes in handy at times! Plus he is positively gleaming right now and very dark buckskin colored (not from over grooming I can tell you that).
He loves to go for a ride in his trailer. I usually walk in with him but this morning I actually dropped something and stopped to pick it up outside the trailer and he kept walking in. So umm, yeah he self loads now. Who knew (not me)? Oh speaking of my trailer there is a new sticker on there. Some of you might recognize it!!
I was committed to go to this thing I guess deep down (once I pay money I am pretty motivated LOL). I was really dreading warming him up as I figured it would be just very bad. It only took like 15 minutes to get there from my barn which kind of shocked me a bit but it was good. The clouds were angry that day my friend. Like gross. And it was cold. And windy. I had brought my two coats (THANK YOU the900facebookpony for spending my money per normal) but ended up wearing a vest instead cause it was Freaking FREEZING.
I checked in (lovely place with free coffee and snacks at check in) the facility is very nice, the footing (even though we had buckets and buckets of rain on Friday) was very secure. There were puddles but the horses were having no issues at all with it. I got my number and then started wondering if I would even get Remus into the arena for dressage. It is a very gorgeous arena with flowers at each letter and a big built in judges booth. I figured if I could get around the ring once or twice to the judge I would be okay.
But first i had to get on him and warm up. Gulp. I was by myself so had no one to smack me and make me get on but a dozen friends’ voices (You all know who you are!) were in my head telling me to get the eff on. Of course, as I was walking down to the schooling arena, a bunch of horses took off in the field there. Remus was sure they knew something he didn’t. He dint really react but he was looking and like kind of wondering if he should follow (I told you the wind was blowing right)? It was like a monsoon a couple times with the rain starting up and blowing sideways. I kept thinking I will get on and just walk if worse comes to worse.
He was good while I got on and then we walked around the ring. It has no boundaries so it is a bit of a spooky schooling area. And a ton of kids were warming up with their coaches (yes i am the only person there probably without a person telling them what to do HA). Which is often the way I roll…ehhh.
We were walking around and I got him listening to me a bit and we started trotting, so far so good, lots of things to look at but he was very good. It was sloppier in the warm up ring then the two show rings so I only wanted to ride enough to loosen him up not enough to make him pissy again (Like at our lesson!). I finally figured I had to try the C WORD. And he went into it. LIKE NBD. I mean he trotted into it but he didn’t buck or throw his head up. Even the other way (His bad way) he went into it. Horse who are you and what have you done with Remus?? I decided to go wait up by the ring for our dressage test and watch a bit then. Why push it right?
There really wasn’t a ring or gate person so you kind of had to watch your own time and make sure you were up there at the right time so I was a bit confused but went on in. Remus went right into the gate which kind of surprised me then we trotted around to the judges booth so he could see it. He stopped and kind of looked but walked right by it and the scary people (aka judge etc.) talked to Remus so knew they weren’t aliens or going to eat him. Then he just trotted around till they rang the bell. I was determined to not let him look more than he needed to so I pushed him forward, sat up, and got him engaged behind and on the bit and in we went. The first few movements were okay but he was stiff and not really listening. But he was being polite. By the time we got to our first trot circle he was starting to relax a bit and that was kind when I figured I could get him a bit more engaged and maybe ask for a bit more. We had a couple good strides down the long end and he was pretty good, by the time we got to the canter he kind of flubbed it a bit but got into it (No bucks though and this is his bad way so, yay!) and he came right back to me at the canter as in usually he lifts his head and goes but he literally came back to his canter. I was like wow.
We then came to the medium walk and free walk. he rocked both of those. (He is finally learning to walk a bit better!). Then we had our next trot circle (MUCH better, Right way is his friend) then the canter, he took a few strides but got into the rhythm quicker this way.
When we turned down the center line and halted, I almost had tears in my eyes. Brilliant test, nope! But a nice quiet test with no outward idiocy or bucks or anything but a polite horse. YES! Seriously I was freaking thrilled with him. I didn’t even care what his score was. It was the best test of his life just for him BEING there and listening to me. Sure we have a long way to go but I actually felt what it could feel like when he is really moving correctly and listening to me without being a jerk or ignoring my aids (normal dressage test is me forgetting to breathe and him taking advantage of it!).
Then we had an hour to kill before jumping so I untacked him and decided to put him back on the trailer. It had started to drizzle and was miserable. I threw his jump saddle on and put him on the trailer and figured I would go look at the course.
It was EVEN colder up by the jump ring. WTF. They were doing poles at this time (See above photo with the clouds). When I say poles I mean rails flat on the ground. It was so stinking cute. They also had a cross rail division. By then it was raining hard so I went to my truck and sat in the truck while Remus stood in the trailer and ate hay. We both were happy where we were!
Sidenote: When you buy a trailer without a dressing room (for weight reasons for your truck) you kind of improvise with your truck (which is a Honda Ridgeline). So by midday my truck was a huge walk in closet with lots of crap everywhere. I was amused and thought OMG I look like a hoarder. Anyway…..organized I am not!
I got on about our time for jumping and went to the warm up ring. I didn’t realize they let you jump a couple jumps in the actual ring and warm up but a friend Mary Beth had arrived and she let me know how it works. My group seemed to have a bunch of very nice horses (as in NICE) with some kids and re-riders on them. (Hence, Remus was most likely the greenest one in my Intro group). Remus was very strong warming up as in WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Where is the cc course? (Not here, my friend). Let’s dial it back a notch, okay?
When we did our course….it was okay. Like I didn’t feel on but we didn’t get any rails and we were clear. The last one we both effed up big time but he saved us. (He was actually taking off a bit early a few times and I could NOT get him to wait. Grhh (Note for Sally to help us, next lesson!). But he never even looked at any of the jumps and didn’t touch any. Which is very very good in Remus terms. We used to get rails every stadium. Not so much anymore. And he used to be VERY looky about jumps. He is starting to realize if he is being pointed at a jump it is to be jumped, not stopped at or run out at…or…? Good pony!
So I guess we were successful. When I turned my number in I got two fourth place ribbons so we got fourth! (one horse in my group did get a rail but I think she beat me too so she must have had a killer dressage). OH and our dressage score was 34. Which may not sound like much but ummm we are usually 38 or higher so YAY US. And he got an 8 on his halt. AN 8!! LIKE seriously. He had 5.5 on the first couple moves (TOLD YOU HE WAS STIFF) and then mostly 7s with a few 6s and that lovely 8. Very very happy with him. He is coming along! I loaded him up and headed home (It was still raining GRHH).
We had houses to look at that afternoon and I had Fair Hill on Sunday to go watch and haul a friend to, so I had a lot of busy weekend left! Once I got Remus back to his barn, I put his sheet on (STILL RAINING) and turned him out, he was such a good pony and he was happy to go back to his friends and brag about what a sophisticated dressage pony he is (Yeah they all stand around the water trough and talk about him when he isn’t around, for sure he is that type of horse)! It was fun doing a CT at a new place for us. And I felt a lot better that I didn’t sign up for Fair Hill after jumping. we still have some work to do!! Up next, spectating at Fair HILL!! YAY fun was had by all!! (AND MORE RAIN, BOO!)