Butterflies and Nerves, Oh My!
So it was upon us, the show at Straight Up. Per normal I felt like projectile vomiting was going to happen anytime due to my nerves. I had to get up at 5 a.m. (UGH) as my dressage test was 8:56 a.m. I hate being late to anything and a show is no exception!
Got to the barn about 6:15 or so and brought Remus up (He actually walked up to me so cue my relief that he didn’t decide THAT day to play “catch me if you can” (He has done this before). Course I was taking the mean muzzle off…sooooo.He likes getting that thing off.
I hadn’t even hooked up yet so i took him in and gave him his breakfast then went out to continue hooking up (Thank goodness for the rear camera considering it was less than 10 hours since I had unhooked from Emily’s) and getting everything ready.
Then I got him out and gave him a fast groom. Due to him being out all night he was pretty darn clean. (Dirt Colored horse for the win) But I did had to brush flowers out of his tail and mane (Flower Child horse)!
I decided to put the Intrepid saddle on and then I tossed caution to the winds and didn’t take ANY other saddle with me (I know how risky am I?). I also left my show coat home and decided to be minimalistic and just wear my sunshirt for all three divisions. WTF. It was getting hot.
Loaded Remus up and headed over. It is not a far drive but it feels farther due to the windy roads over to Nottingham. But got there in good time and still had an hour or a bit till my dressage so felt that I had plenty of time to warm up.
They had a decent crowd already (The elementary go first followed by intro). The ring for dressage is up by the road and can cause some alarm from horses but luckily Remus the last few times hasn’t been distracted by much (I am always worried an Amish carriage will come by in the middle of my dressage test, hasn’t happened YET).
The gnats had arrived in a vengeance since last time and I had left Remus fly bonnet behind but he didn’t seem too upset (They were bothering me so much I had to put my sunglasses down on my helmet so I could keep them out of my eyes. BUGS ugh. )
Tanya and I were first to go in our division so we warmed up together in the indoor. I don’t know how people with big horses warm up in there, four strides with Remus and he is down the side and back in the end. It is tiny. Functional but tiny. Remus was actually listening pretty well and I felt fantastically grounded in that saddle.
I had put the stirrups down one hole for dressage and that helped (And promptly forgot to put them back up on the jump part, loser me for the win)! OOPS! But anyway! We trotted and cantered a bit and he was listening and not too lazy (I remembered spurs for once!) and he was even cantering without bucking. So I figured I would go up and sacrifice myself to the Gods (I mean go do my test).
I went up to the dressage ring and the scribe asked me if I was ready. I figured it would not be good to say what I was really thinking (Heck no is the PG 13 version).
But in we went. And it wasn’t bad. I mean was not brilliant but not bad. I don’t have my scores in front of me (I meant to take a shot of it), but I am pretty sure we had one 6 and one 6.5 and the rest were 7’s. Which is a miracle. And the biggest miracle (There were two)….no buck at the canter and…wait for it….no note to make the circles bigger. Now maybe the judge just threw his hands up in the air but usually that is our go to scoring comment (More circle, more bend, more suppleness, just more). Remus was polite and well behaved and even though the one 6 was from me using my voice to get him to canter I was pleased with the whole test.
Then Tanya went in and had a good test too. Neither Moo nor Remus are a fancy dressage horse so we are always glad to get that part over with. Whew….
Then we had to head to the jump area. Tanya had to change tack but lucky me I only had to go back to the trailer to get my crop (more about that crop later) since my saddle was all in one for that day. But on my way up to the trailer a rogue chicken came by and Remus was sure it was going to kill him (Granted it was a scary ass chicken with a mohawk…running like crazy in circles). I literally had to jump off to get up to the trailer. HA. (Brave eventing pony yes?)
So up to the jumps we went. I had no eyeglasses on (getting blind in my old age) so tried to get Remus up to the fence line so I could read the course map. Ummm he would not move (It was getting hotter and I think he was ready for a snooze). I tapped him with my crop and it broke in half. I kid not. I was like wtf. SO USELESS, PURPLE CROP YOU ARE NO GOOD TO ME DEAD! I really meant to get a photo of it cause it split in half and was like just dangling. Remus of course STILL didn’t move so I had to get after him to walk the eff forward so I could read the damn course. Once I read it I realized it was easier than last time (one minor bending line but no roll backs to another jump, whew). And the jumps looked smaller than last time (Tanya said the same thing). And not in a way that I am getting used to them but they didn’t look that big. I wasn’t about to say a dang thing though. I liked them being little!
Remus woke up a bit as more horses came up the hill to join us.
So we went out to school over a couple jumps and for once they were low enough for me to jump! I even popped over the cross country log out there (yay me). He was jumping good but lazy with a capital L. I asked Tanya if i could use her crop (Since MINE was out of commission)….and she went first in the stadium course (#bestfriendever)!
AND she got through it with a clear round. She was beaming ear to ear. Not only did Moo not stop at one jump she actually had a great round! YAY. I was so happy for her but I was desperately trying to remember the course (Simple course goes upside down and sideways once my nerves start up)….And we were trotting in. I gave Remus a sharp whack as we trotted in to wake his ASS UP. Jeez. He did respond a bit. I had a panic over a couple of the jumps as I thought i had forgotten where the next jump was (Silly numbers just look) but each time i told myself worry about it after you get over this jump and it worked! I found my jump each time. Remus in that ring always has trouble swapping so we had to break to a trot several times to get him right. Most of them he jumped well but that damn black and white plank jump I met wrong again (We got over it fine but still)…shaking fist at that jump!
I was very pleased that I didn’t throw up (always a serious possibility) and we got over everything with no real issues. We school there with Sally so he should have it under control but you never know!
The last one I just love how he is cantering. Ears up looking at the next fence. IF I could learn to SIT up, elbows in, and NOT lean forward we would be SO MUCH BETTER. But it was a good ride. Video is here! Please do not be harsh, I know my limitations as a rider ;). Remus is not a great jumper and I am not a great rider but he is cute with his ears up and you gotta love how he tries.
We ended up in 3rd (And Tanya 4th) the two ahead of us both scored in their dressage with a 20 and 22 (WTF?? That is lowwwww for intro) 🙂 SO unless aliens beamed them away I wasn’t catching them (I think they could have knocked the whole course down and as long as they were not eliminated they would have beat me!) But that is okay. We got third and we got a 34 in dressage (Hey under 40 is great in Remus terms!).
Now to bite the bullet and sign up for Fair Hill or not….But a fabulous day for a show, weather was perfect and it was fun to get another one under our belt. Again a great venue for a show. Always a pleasure to go there!