Last week was pretty hectic, and by the time Friday arrived, I had adopted the following attitude: Just Fuck It. I had to work a full day on Friday (no half-day for me), so I didn’t arrive at the showgrounds to school until just after 6 pm.
I unloaded, set-up Vinnie’s fan and decided just to hop on and find out what I had to work with. Lo and behold, Vinnie was lazy. And the clouds parted and a chorus of angels sang hallelujah! Okay, maybe that part was just in my head, but I was so happy! We went into the ring, jumped every jump all in a row and were done. Schooling took all of 15 minutes from start to finish and I was beyond thrilled!
Saturday morning dawned hot and humid, with highs in 90’s. Sam didn’t get home from his out-of-town work trip until 1 am, so he slept in since I wasn’t slated to show until around 11 am, and this show is notorious for running behind. Then at 9:30, we got the announcement: “six trips and flat before the start of Limit Rider,” at which point I panicked, just slightly. Our plan was to show in the first rotation of my division, do the warm-up trip and if Vinnie was too strong, we would drop down in the order, get off and lunge.
So I called Sam, who was luckily already on his way. I got dressed, tacked up (all by myself! look at me, being all adult-like!) and went out to the warm-up. I trotted and cantered, then went over a little vertical twice. Vinnie was his perfect, old self: a total push ride, without a care in the world. I got dropped in the order to the second rotation due to conflicts in other rings, which turned out fine because Sam made it to the ring just as I was going in for my warm-up trip.
I didn’t manage to get any photos/video from Saturday, but man, did we kill it. I mean, we just murdered those courses. I rode really well, flowed and stretched up. It was absolutely glorious and I came out of that ring beaming! We placed 8th in one of our over fences classes, which in a division of 13 with no lead changes is pretty darn impressive, if I do say so myself.
I was much more prepared to go early this time and everything was all good. I was more tired, so I felt like I didn’t ride quite as well as I did on Saturday, but still much improved from the last show. Here was our best course:Sunday
We ended up placing 6th and 7th in our over fences classes! I was thrilled — I think we were the best team out there without a lead change, and that is fucking fantastic. We opted out of the under saddle — I was hot and tired, plus in a division that large, we just weren’t going to be competitive. I don’t need to practice the flat; the last two shows trainer has said I showed to the best of Vinnie’s ability on the flat and we didn’t place (which is fine). But I wanted to end on a great note, so I was happy with that decision.
All in all, definitely the best show this season and I am really, really happy to finally see some progress in myself, and see that reflected in the placings from show to show. Plus, I’m definitely well on my way to accomplishing my goal of riding better at each event!