I woke up Sunday morning and promptly told myself that Saturday never happened. I focused on making my horse beautiful, watching the rest of #TeamBrookside ride beautifully and eating all the snacks we’d brought. My only goal for the day was to ride better than yesterday — I didn’t care if I was competitive, I didn’t care about the striding. All I wanted to do was give my horse a better ride.
I came out to the warm-up ring still apprehensive, but I worked hard to put it out of my mind. My jumps in warm-up weren’t anything to write home about, but they weren’t sketchy either — huzzah! Somehow, I’d managed to keep my brain intact and remembered how to ride (somewhat, at least). Our first two 2’6″ Intermediate Adult Hunter trips were much more reflective of my current riding level, so I came out really happy with them. Yes, I made mistakes with distances and pace; in fact, we missed some lead changes because I was going so slow. But I didn’t care because I rode!
After that was a long break while I waited for the Low Thoroughbred Under Saddle (I scratched the Intermediate Adult Under Saddle). As usual, Miles was great in the flat; the smaller ring meant there wasn’t quite as much room down the long sides to really show him off, but that’s okay. He was consistent, easy going and just a pleasure to ride in the class. We ended up snagging a 3rd, which I was SUPER thrilled with. We placed right behind a trainer and a trainer’s son (who is a phenomenal rider and routinely kicks my butt #noshame). To me, that’s just as good as winning the class! It was also a nice confidence boost — I really turned Miles into a wonderful under saddle horse and I know how to ride that class. It might not be a big deal to some, but when I’m having a tough time, focusing on the things I’m doing well makes a big difference.
Our two Low Thoroughbred Hunter trips were even better. I had some really, really nice lines despite both Miles and I being tired. Again, I had some late choices about distances which made for some not-so-great jumps and we missed leads because I didn’t have enough pace, but at least our simple changes were decent, plus I stayed straight going down the lines. I made some good adjustments to use more of the ring in our turns to the diagonal lines as well, which I think really helped. We ended up 5th and 6th in these rounds (out of six, but who’s counting?) and I was very, very happy. Overall, this horse show pointed out exactly what I need to work on and for that, it was worth it.