Before we get to dressage and us entering the ring I have to tell you about Remus. Cross Country started while we were waiting for dressage. Remember this was a small place and cross country was right over behind the woods (behind the house) where we were standing by the ring. When they yelled over the megaphone, RIDER ON COURSE!!, Remus’s head went straight up and he was watching through the woods and then we got ants in our pants, he would not stay still. It was hilarious. It was like a switch came on and he was saying, MOM THERE ARE JUMPS OVER THERE ARE WE JUMPING OH PLEASE SAY YES PLEASE. Settle down, before you exhaust yourself buckskin.
Then the bell went off and Remus got back to business, well at least he wasn’t rude but he still had an eye over to the woods. But we went and trotted down centerline pretty as a picture and I remembered to halt at X, so yes off to a good start. Off we went on a trot again to turn at C the correct way. So far so good. Remus was a bit tentative trotting in that squishy footing and I was like whatever buddy just be good.
He was very very good. Again I knew he needed more oomph from behind but considering the lack of riding and just overall out of shapeness it was one of the best tests we had done (TAKING CANTER OUT HELPED IMMENSELY JUST SAYING) When we finished and were done I was so happy to be done. I am shocked we did such a good turn down the centerline remember this was only the fourth time he has had a bit in his mouth since late May. Anyway we halted and I collapsed. The judge said something about Remus being beautiful (I told you they were all blinded by dapples, I am sticking to that!) and I thanked her and exited the ring. Whew.
So I got off for the hour or so break before cross country HOPING the dumb horse would pee. He did not. I knew he had to go because he was all swishy with his tail but also he still knew CROSS COUNTRY was over there behind that house. I put him back on the trailer for a while and just watched some more dressage. Then it was almost time to get ready. I unloaded him and he would NOT stand still. Got him tacked up again after squeezing his Lund breastplate on him…sob I love that thing. I might need a full sized one! HA. Anyway borrowed Stephanie’s Tipp so I didnt have to squeeze into my freaking medium one. Oh my. Hers was a large and fit great. Whew. (Sidebar: I sold my blue medium Tipp to the kid who helped me with fence 8, paying it forward, I gave them a great deal and she was so pleased to have her own vest. They were borrowing one). So then I proceeded to get on my horse. Or I tried. He would not stand still. He was raring to go and wasn’t being really bad but would not stand. Some young teenager tried to help me but I was scared to death Remus would trample her. I finally told her don’t worry about it. Then I saw Stephanie coming back from watching her friend,Cassie do cross country and I shouted for her to come help. She did, Remus stood still, and we were on. But thanks to he who would NOT stand still…I was running late and still hadn’t trotted a cross rail yet. And I had no clue if Remus would go to the start box as spooky as it was back there…
I got to the warm up area and this is when Red on the Right helped me a lot. Thanks Britt! HA. The jumps were all over the warm up area in different directions (like a lot of fences) and I again Michele’d out and forgot which way to jump(It has been a long time since I competed!). Red on the Right jumped in my head and I breathed a sigh of relief and trotted over a tiny vertical. He went right over it even squealing a bit and they called my number so off we trotted to the start box. I felt like vomiting then.
I trotted over to the spooky area then had to walk to get him past the wood pile around the corner to the start box. He was going forward but his head was up higher than normal for him. I called to the person by the start box that we were coming. Got up there, she said are you ready, and I was like sure if I can get him in there. We walked into the start box and she started the countdown, and I told her we were only walking and trotting. She giggled at me at that. Well the first thing out of the start box was this huge piece of machinery then a gate with a lawn mower beside it. Lions and Tigers and Bears OH MY!
Remus was like I think I might die out here. He was visibly trembling as we trotted by that and then he screeched to a halt when he saw the lawn mower. Thank goodness I had the crop I lightly tapped him on his shoulder and he walked VERY carefully by that lawn mower.
I still was worried I was going to puke. They had a zillion jump judges out there. Seriously the jumps were so close together half those jump judges could have done the job. Well Remus was scared of them NOT the jumps. Mr Looky Lou was like yikes in every direction. We went to the first jump and he nailed it with his front feet (It was stupid poles, thank god). Then he seemed to realize that there were actual cross country JUMPS and he got really excited. I popped over the second one and then the third then walked him to find # 4 (it was that one I couldn’t tell was a jump I did find it! HA.)
We got over that (after he snorted before it and leaped over it way too high HA) and then proceeded to walk and trot to the other area where 5, 6, and so on were. I knew 8 was an issue. Since I wasn’t sure where it was. The jump judges were all oohing and ahhing over Remus and his damn pretty color and dapples and I was laughing so hard because he was totally jumping out of his skin.
We got over that one and trotted up the tiny hill to the next field and I knew that our # 8 was against the fenceline (again Hailee helped me, she was the kid with the Haflinger that I sold the vest to) That had about ten people standing at the fence rail outside the property and Remus was like what the heck and the turn was tight but over he went then on to the last two jumps. He realized then that it was really fun to jump again and I thought for about five seconds why the hell didn’t I have the Baucher on? Not that he would go too fast but steering was nonexistent. But over the last two he went (Even the cement culvert one I thought he would shy at he did not) then we meandered our way up to the finish at a trot and I let him canter through the finish flags and he proceeded to dolphin up the hill to all the judge jumps laughing at him. Oh Remus. What a show off.
But we were CLEAR, YAY. I really did not think he would go over some of those jumps which sure they were little but it was a very eye-opening course for him to be in (scared of his own shadow Remus). We came up and had to trot by the Start Box again (Big eyes again) and then Steph and Cassie were waiting for me and I just thumbs up at them as we trotted back and they started clapping. AND WE WERE DONE. He really was so cool about jumping everything I pointed him at. I mean to have never been there before and not been jumped for months he was pretty damn cool. I guess I will keep him LOL!
I jumped off and led him back to the trailer with all these people asking me more about him. So funny. I took his tack off and got my shit off (Or at least the damn vest and helmet and found my baseball hat cause that sun was out in force now) then let him graze. AND he finally peed. YAY (umm, it would have been much better to do that earlier buddy, but anyway)
Then we stood around forever waiting for them to announce the results. I had tied for 1st after dressage (that never happens) and the girl tied with me also went clear I think but she beat me with the percentages. The other girl on a nice tbred in my division had retired in cross country for missing a fence (fifty bucks it was that #8!) and they finally had the placing up there and I was 2nd! YAY. And Hailee had had a terrible cross country course (Finn the Haflinger would NOT leave the start box) but she moved up to 3rd because everyone else had either been eliminated or retired.
But we had to wait for our ribbons because the hunt club likes to do a ceremony thing. I am not used to this, so waiting for my dressage test and ribbon was new. I was like well sheesh I have waited this long. Steph and Cassie and I stood around and joked and goofed off till they did the results, they actually call up your name and you have to go up to get your ribbon. Hilarious. I got back to Steph and Cassie and said can we GO now? I WAS STARVING (A granola bar does not feed you for a whole day). We stood as long as polite then scampered for our trucks. Remus was asleep in the trailer by then. It had gotten hotter so I was happy he was in the trailer cooling off with no flies! We hit the road and headed home!
I got home and unloaded Remus and turned him out so he could be a pig (he rolled in mud) and he drank water and just chilled. And then I had to unload the truck, etc. I was exhausted. And the next day I could barely walk. My thigh muscles and calf muscles were tight, my ab muscles hurt (probably from laughing as much as riding) and I am tired still….I could barely get up off the couch Sunday without help. Ridiculous right? Remus has proceeded to lay in the field off and on since Sunday to rest up I think. Tate lived without Remus being around which means I can go out on more field trips!!
It was a great day and I met new friends and really enjoyed it. I miss the courses like Fair Hill but this was not bad to go to and I will go again. Also now Remus is waiting for me to come feed him. I hope the couple photographers I saw got some photos but if not next time I will make Mark go!!
So I hope it was worth the cliffhanger for you all from Monday. 🙂