Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kisses and Cookies

For our first competition of the season , Barby,The Devils and I packed up and headed out of Aiken VERY DECADENTLY on a WEDNESDAY for what was supposed to be a two day event Friday and Saturday.

We had a super trip down. The horses were very comfortable and had a chance to have a good rest in their new digs, Nancy and Alice gave us terrific stalls. We found a great place to hook up the trailer and got all settled in before TORRENTIAL rain started.It POURED for two days.The good news was we had lots of movies to watch in the palace (my trailer),the power worked without fail and our new blow up mattress worked a treat.We had a ton of laughs and some much needed rest. The days at the farm before our departure were CRAZY busy and I was on my last nerve.

Thursday was a very wet day. I rode each of the devils twice. VERY VERY WET! Lots of lightning and not great conditions but I was determined to stick to the plan.

Friday dressage was wet and windy.For the first time in the arena this year overall I was pleased with everything except my scores.Peter had a small hesitation right at A,putting in a halt step in his walk transition. This is a game he loves to play. Other than that I was a bit conservative with him yet pleased. Harry was having some sort of an issue with his left lead counter counter and was tenser than normal but made it through without problems.His normally fabulous walk was below standard for him but all in all we were delighted to finish 6th in a big class.Pickles spoke to me in the clearest voice ever about how he needed to be ridden. It was extraordinary. Not a huge fan of the small arena, he often gets nervous right before going in the ring and starts to barge through my half halts and starts to pull like a freight train. As I ride him in the fattest of eggbutts ,I am left totally at his mercy at the most crucial of times.So I decided to very intelligently jab him with my spurs to tell him to reconnect to my leg and he answered that little conversation with the steepest levade one could ever see. Oh great here we go........He clearly told not to go to my spur but go to my seat which he had clearly pulled me out of. It was a GREAT message from dear Pickles and God to simply ride better or else!We thought he did a great test for him though his canter was a little choppy.

It rained so hard ,our show jumping had to be post poned to Sunday,so Barby and I got to scive off and do a little shopping at the fab trade fair. I bought two really nice pairs of corduroy breeches and a great rain suit all on sale. WOW! LOVE THAT!Then it was time to walk the cross country and more movies!

The cross country course was GREAT. Lots of good angled questions. EXACTLY what I need to prepare for moving up to Intermediate. The jumps were big enough. There was lots of great galloping room and the footing was perfect despite the rain.It was a perfect first outing for us all.
Peter Pan and Pickles were almost faultless. Both made the time on loose reins and BUZZED the course. I told Pickles, I didn't care if he was last in dressage for the rest of his life if he continues to jump like that. He is just like an old pair of loafers!And Peter is like a guided missile.

Harry was very very good,but I made an really stupid but necessary mistake that I hopefully will not do again. I let my guard down at a three stride angled question and had a run out. I do not think I have ever had a glance off with Harry and I just softened ever so slightly and paid the price. EXACTLY what the course designer had hoped for!UGH!!!!!!So I quickly circled and he popped it like a pro and went on without a problem. I hated to let him down but it was a lesson I needed to be reminded of from above again. I was so lucky to have a third chance to fix it back with Pickles.God was telling me to slow down and balance more. I heard him ,I did it and was rewarded with a ride that redeemed my faith in myself and my boys. There were lots of kisses and cookies for the devils in the stables that night.I was delighted.

Sunday followed with three clear show jumping rounds.Though the Intermediate show jumping still looks big to me, I feel we will be ready by Chattahoochee to move up. Can't wait!

Peter was the star this weekend finishing third in his class. Pickles was 9th and Harry 14th I think due to my error. But I am not worried. I just have to ride better and pay attention.

We had a great trip home with everyone safe and sound. Next stop Pine Top for our hopefully last prelim before the big move up. I can't wait!Stay tuned!

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