Chatt Hills had a Golden League Team Challenge added onto their schooling show this weekend. We decided to do it. And I'm so glad we did. It was a blast. It was me, Kelly Rousey, Laura Edison and Laura Duhamel. Cindy Phillips was our team captain and Elizabeth Thompson was our groom/cheerleader. :) We were the Hot Flashes!
We had a fun cook out and hanging out and then off to bed! We had jogs at 7:30 am! Kelly was awesome and found t-shirts with flames on them and flame tiara's for us to wear. I bought sparkly orange and red toulle for us to put on the horses. And we looked awesome!!! We did the jog and we were all accepted! Then they had mimosa's for us. They were delicious. And then Dan managed to slop mine all down the front of my shirt. Ewwww... so sticky!! We decided to leave their ribbons in and wear our tiara's for dressage. It was fun! I never want to show without ribbons and tiara's again!!
Dan was super for our test. It wasn't our best, but for our first time doing training A, it wasn't bad at all. The judge told me she liked my hat. :) :)
Then it was time for stadium. Sigh.... I got down there a little early, which was probably a good thing. The jumps were set for novice, but.. they looked plenty big enough!! Like... I was freaking out a little bit about even jumping them. I started to warm up and it wasn't going well. Luckily Danielle was down there and able to help me. Basically I needed to shorten my reins and package him. Keep my shoulders up. All the things that I know.. and keep hearing.. I just can't figure out how to accomplish that without shutting him down. So.. with Danielle's help we managed to get a couple of good jumps in. Of course we had one terrifying jump where I buried him and then I abandoned him and he died at the base and then jumped straight up and over... He managed to not hit the fence and I managed to not fall off, but... dang! So then they set the jumps up and they looked HUGE and then they raised the warm up jumps and they looked huge. We managed to get a few jumps in and get over it and I decided to just go in. Dan was getting pissed!!! I don't know if he was mad at me or if he was just irritated at all the people and horses in the arena and it being crowded.... So.. we went in. It was ugly. We chipped the first 3 fences.. .got nicely over the 4th, then got into the double but not out. He stopped at the second fence. So... we came back and he stopped at the first fence. Ugh... so I smacked him and we came again and he got over both... then he chipped over the 6th fence... and then we got the 7th fence and 8th fence fairly nicely.. then we chipped into the second double... but got through it.. and then the last fence.. I even saw the distance and thought we had it. But I guess I tipped because Dan dropped down and stopped. Ugh... eliminated. Sigh.
But... In many ways I'm glad we did it. In some ways, it was more confidence building to know that we survived and almost got through it.... despite the fact that back in March/April I was terrified to jump even little fences, we had soundness issues, we had very little jumping because of life, we haven't jumped anything of that size... in... maybe ever.... and certainly not a whole course of it.... really, it was kind of a stupid move on my part. I certainly didn't prepare him. It was really kind of unfair. But.. he rose to the occasion and managed to get us through most of it. I don't think I undid his confidence. And to be honest, we were having the same issues at novice and I know it. I do think that perhaps the bigger fences brought it to light and made me realize a few things?? Maybe?? I don't know. After we came out of the arena, Lauren was there coaching some students and told me to not let him quit and go back to warm up and jump. She said that I was fine.. then I'd panic a stride or two out and lift my hands, thus inverting him and making it hard for him to jump. So... she told me to drop my hands. And it worked! It was scary.. and really hard for me to put them down and leave them down! But it worked. And I think it worked because of what Danielle had already helped me accomplish. So.. we did two or three more jumps with my hands down and then we went to go see if we could run XC. They let me. :)
XC was a blast! It was novice, so... it was kind of a relief. He just clocked through it all. Although the up bank was an up bank then instead of going straight down the down bank, they had you veer slightly off to the right and go down the slope to a fence. He jumped so big into the up bank that he almost bounced right off the down bank so he propped just a little. We lopped over the rest and had a blast. Even the big scary spooky looking blue table didn't phase him. He trotted before the ditch, but part of that was the turn and me asking. But then he picked the canter right back up over it and didn't look. So yay! I don't know what our time was. I didn't have my watch because it didn't matter. I meant to ask the timers what my time was, just for educational purposes, but I forgot. Drats. Oh well.
So yep... sadly we were eliminated, but it was still a super fun weekend. Our team should have done really well too as we all scored well. I felt bad being the drop score. But then unfortunately Kelly jumped the wrong jump on the XC course and didn't go back and catch the novice one so she got eliminated too. Doh! We still ended up winning some socks. :)
Anyways... feeling a little better about Windridge, but definitely going to need to get stadium figured out. I think there's a jumper show at Silverthorn soon. Guess we'll do a few rounds there!