Barbie and I were looking forward to our trip to Florida after what seemed a long times between events.Our own competition at Paradise really knocked us out of our gear and we were hoping all would stay on track for our next event.
The Devils are great shippers and travellers in general and the trip was a breeze at 6.5 hours.We arrived at Rocking Horse Stable a day early to allow us all to settle in and relax.Theres not a chance of that at home so we felt like we were playing hooky down in Florida.WE had fantastic stables right next to the wash stall and could park right in front of our stalls so camp was made and we were all tucked in ready for things to begin.
The horses worked in really well the day before as we watched everyone ship in and get ready for the next days competition.Upon walking the cross country course that afternoon,I wish I had moved all the horses up a notch as I felt the prelim would have been well suited for a first time start,but one never knows.Both the prelim and the training were on the soft side which makes me just as nervous because one must never get complacent about anything.
Dressage was not a high point for me this time.Pickles was nervous again,just a bit tight and had very poor marks.I felt badly for him.He had warmed up well but wasn't happy in the ring. He is a very sensitive fellow that I must continue to try and find the key with.I know a good test is in there somewhere.
Harry (Next dance) moved beautifully and was very obediant.I was delighted.He is such a cheerful,uncomplicated fellow.As usual,when one likes the test,we had a surprising score and were left feeling rather defeated by the judges opinion.
Peter pranced around like a trooper.He is getting stronger by the day and really beginning to grow up.Though we were again shocked with the score at least he was a credible 2nd.
My dressage times were rather close to my first show jumping ride so I barely got to run round the course.I was felt pressure to get out of the ring so the class could start and I did not walk the related distances.I thought just eyeballing would do.It normaly does and I get away with it.Well folks.NOT THIS TIME!!!!!
Pickles warmed up like a zillion dollars.Loose rein,soft,both leads.Great.All the right stuff.A GREAT track in the ring,I was excited and ready to go.We cantered in,jumped the first four really well ,came around the corner ,jumped 5A an oxer to a one stride verticle out and BANG!Pickles stopped!I was really surprised.I cantered him around quietly till the bell rang again ,Found my line ,came around the corner,jumped the oxer agin,soft as you please and BANG!Whistle,I got the big E.Two stops and your out these days.
I was very surprised and went straight back to the practice jumps and he was a star again,so there was nothing wrong with him.I was shocked so I watched a lot of other horses ride the track and there were several akward jumps at that end of the ring.And there were a few that stopped there as well.
It turned out that the distance was a bit longer than I anticipated and I actually should have approached the double with a different canter.Hindsight 20/20.I could not blame Pickles as he was jumping exactly as I had asked him to but I was mad at myself for not being more astute!So I will certainly pay more attention to the track before I ride another one!Yet another lesson learned.I opted not to run Pickles XC as I felt he did not need the run so he was done for the weekend.
Harry and Peter had double clears in their show jumping.I was please they didn't look at the liverpool as they hadn't jumped one in a while.
Harry and Peter bombed around their training cross country tracks .There were two skinny types fences that they had a look at but they ate up the rest of the course.
End result.Peter pan second to a lovely horse that deserved the win.Harry moved up to 5th and Pickles the big E.
All the way home Barbie and I discussed what we needed to do for improvement.Maybe another event where I move everybody up to prelim.I think they are now all ready and I need to get my======in gear.
There is a local jumper show here at home this week.You bet I am going to go practice and walk that course!!!So I needed that wake up call.I got it.I am awake.Stay tuned!