What a fun weekend!!
Friday after I worked a little bit and then packed, Dan and I loaded up and headed to Chatt Hills to join Liz and Devon for the schooling show. We planned to school XC on Friday and then show Saturday.
We got there and Liz schooled stadium while I unloaded and got Dan settled. I tried to get on early because I could tell Danny needed a gallop but we ended up being ready to hit the XC field at the same time. Which was probably a good thing as Dan was on his toes!! We bounced and hopped pretty much the whole way from the stalls to the XC field. They had us in the field by the river, so way down there, and they are making a set for a Marvel Comic movie on the XC field at the top of the hill, so there was a lot of commotion and a lot of space to get through before we hit the XC schooling area. I managed to keep the danomite contained, but barely! There were some very bouncy moments, especially right as we hit the field. So.... once we hit the schooling area and I got him far enough away from everyone, I just let him go. I could tell that he was needing a gallop for the last few rides, so I knew it was coming. And yep.... He went riproaring down the field... and then into and down the next field... and then into and down the next field. And then we were able to breathe. Ah.... So then we cantered/galloped back and caught up with Liz and Devon. As we were heading back, I did see a truck heading out... I wondered if they were coming to make sure we didn't die. Hee hee.
So then he schooled pretty darn well. He was a bit looky at the sunken road but did the beginner novice and novice one beautifully. I had planned to do the novice course but chickened out. Some of those novice fences looked fairly big at first. But I got over it and we did about half of the novice course. He stopped at the stone table, but honestly, I felt him questioning it 6 strides back and didn't ride him forward. Once he looked at it and I closed my leg on representation, he jumped it fine. He also cruised over the weird looking hammock novice thing and the novice doubles just fine. And then the water!!! Prior to the water was this mound between fences and he just cruised over that without blinking. And then he charged right into the water! Yay!!! And that was off a novice table so the water was a bit surprising. Of course as soon as he got in the water he stopped and drank his fill. ha ha! The final fence on course was a little steeplechase type fence. It was a little impressive so I did the BN one first and he didn't even fuss, so then we hopped over the novice one too. Yay!!
We headed back in as it was getting super duper cold! After the boys were settled in we headed to Mexican and our hotel room.
The next morning was super cold but I was very pleased that Dan had eaten all of his hay and drank some. I worked him in hand for a few minutes prior to tacking up and he did well. There was a little bit of bouncing as we headed into the warm up chaos, but overall he wasn't bad. Once we got into warm up, he settled and went right to work. Yay! Our test wasn't bad. It wasn't our best, as I overshot a turn and he almost fell out of the arena picking up the canter and then our free walk was icky and jiggy. But in general not too bad of a test. We scored a 33.7, which I felt was very fair. He got a few 8's and an 8.5 on his gaits!! And... the judge even face book friended us later and commented on how she liked him. Neato! The scoring was calculated wrong so I'm not entirely sure how we ended up, but it was either first or second after dressage. But they had split the divisions so there was only 4 in ours. But still.
He was pretty chill for stadium and didn't get bouncy at all. We warmed up... and then sat for a long time because they were running 45 minutes behind! So between that and the gallop the day before, Dan was a little tired. We had a decent stadium round up until the 3rd to last fence. I think that he got a little behind my leg and I saw the long spot and he saw the chip. Or not even the chip, the proper distance. And.. to help him, I threw my body up his neck instead of closing my leg. So the poor guy, chipped, and then jumped the jump despite me hanging on his head. So we pulled a rail. I was so embarassed. But the monkey just kept going and made a big effort over the next fence 4 strides down the line and got us back in gear. I managed to mostly sit up and ride and got it together fairly well for the final fence. Doh! But he was so good!
Our stadium round
Oops... bad Mommy
Super boy saves the day!
We went straight down to XC and it took a while because it's such a hike so he got to catch his breath. Once down there, I took two logs and decided we were ready and so off we went. He was PERFECT!!! We sat in the start box for the count down and trotted out. After a few steps of trot I let him canter and from that point on he just rolled through the course. He jumped everything beautifully! And he cantered on through the water and over the mound happy as a clam! It was awesome! I forgot a watch so I had no idea what our time was, but figured it was alright. We were in a nice happy rolling canter... not running, not chasing, not slow.... and we ended up with speeding tickets. But oh well. He felt great!
I think he finally gets it! I think he understands his job and enjoys it! YAY!! I think it's onward and upward now. :)
Turns out, we finished in 1st! Even with the rail and speeding tickets. YAHOOO!! Go Dan go! I'm such a proud momma. We had such a fun weekend. And I think it was really good for us as a team. He seems more snuggly in his own way. :)
I love this kid!