Saturday morning I arrived at the showgrounds extra early to lunge the wild beast, aka Miles. I decided to put him in a bridle to lunge… just in case. And it turned out to be an excellent idea because the second we got started, the acrobatics began: leaping, bucking and galloping for the first five minutes, before we settled into a nice canter for the rest of the time. After 45 minutes, we went back to the stalls for a nice shower, during which Miles went to sleep. Perfect.
We showed around noon on Saturday, and my mom even made the trip down to watch! We had a warm-up round, two hunter rounds and an equitation over fences round. We decided to start the warm-up doing the add stride pace, meaning the lines were set for five strides, but we did six. Our warm-up round was very nice: a few longer spots into the lines and a few shorter distances coming out of the lines, but overall I was happy. At this particular show, warm-up rounds are judged red/blue: scores between 75 and 79 earn a red ribbon, scores at 80 or above earn a blue ribbon. Our warm-up on Saturday was good enough for a red ribbon! Woohoo!!
|Because every Limit Rider needs an entourage|
Our first hunter round was also fairly good. We stayed on the same add pace as the warm-up, to make sure Miles and I both stayed calm, cool and collected. I made some mistakes and got some fairly bad chips to two fences, but Miles was a saint and handled it all perfectly! Our second hunter round was better overall, but we got marked down heavily for our initial transition to the canter, where Miles was an ass and kicked out. It was partially my fault, because I could feel him being grumpy, so I should have waited and asked for the transition a few strides later, but I got impatient. Oh well, live and learn! For this trip, we decided to up the ante and do the correct number of strides, which went really well! We still had some iffy spots, but overall I rode well and continued to make decisions and stick with them.
Our best round of the day however, was our last: Limit Equitation Over Fences. For those that have been reading for a while, you know I never show in equitation. I don’t have an equitation body, and my focus hasn’t been on the finer points of riding for a long, long time. I struggle with just staying out of the way and being effective. But since I was showing at 2′, and things were going well, I figured why the heck not? And I am so, so glad I did. I’m going to let this round speak for itself:
And that, ladies and gentleman, was a good enough round to win us our very first blue ribbon! I was so, so proud of Miles and I for riding the rollback so well… especially since we don’t ever practice them at home. We were both just so in sync during this round, I could watch it all day long! I opted not to show in the Equitation on the Flat, because it’s not something I practice. But I found out later that our win in the Over Fences class was enough to earn us Reserve Champion in the Limit Equitation division!! OUR VERY FIRST TRICOLOR!