(oh, and of course I have a husband who's never had chickenpox, so this could be an epically cranky/itchy household in no time...)
Sunday! Sunday was supposed to "go really quick" since there were no flat classes left and each division had only one course remaining.
The ponies ran ahead of schedule which prompted a slight panic from a logistics standpoint but in true horse show fashion, we went from running ahead to an hour late in no time. Ugh
So the poor mare had to stand around for longer than I wanted but it was warm and sunny and we still weren't complaining about that. The schedule was a little funky because we were scheduled to ride our second round of the derby prior to our Pre-Adult courses which, aside from behing the opposite order I would have prefered, also meant I had to warm up, walk the course, ride the course, then sit around before re-booting for our normal rounds.
My biggest focus was nothing more than shortening my reins by at least a foot. S yells at me about this all the time, but I never quite accomplish holding a shorter rein. but after looking through all of Supermom's great pics from Saturday I shuddered and vowed to figure it out. I do think that part of my long rein problem is that when Prair is telescoping her brontosaurus neck there is no "one" correct length and I end up with my hands in my lap. But when she's soft and steady it's easier for me to put my hands where they should be... Ugh. retraining old habits. I hate it... but anyway...
We warmed up well, and Prair felt even mellower than she had been on Saturday. We didn't do much but I did at least canter enough fences to establish a rythym and steady my eye.
The Handy round looked FUN. We had a halt, trot fence and a few options that had some super fun opportunities for some handy turns. S and I came up with a plan, including an unpoplur start off the right lead and I was totally excited.
We went in reverse rder of go, and since I was fourth I got to watch 3 other riders go before me. I think the video tells the correct story so please watch this first (it's short), but man, best start to a course ever.
Off Course!???? NO. I've never gone off course in 20 years of showing! not once!
Here's what I was thinking for those first 3 lovely fences:
Nice canter transition, she's soft, I like this... outside leg, counterbend, keep the right lead YAY nice fence, okay fence two, steady, back her off a tiny bit, YAY nice fence. Wow this is the softest she's ever felt in the show ring, hmmm why did S want me to start my turn at that red standard? I'm already lined up with my third fence... nice distance. Oh. Wrong fence. Maybe I'll just rollback and keep going... No? damn.
Off course! so sad, I was really looking forward to riding that round. I was also looking forward to not DQing myself in my first derby. (face::smack). Mayve now that I have shingles I can blame it on that??? No excuses.
The hilarious part is that even though I recorded no score in the second round somehow I still didn't finish last. I guess there were a few folks who stayed in the 30's both rounds so we landed 6th and still got to participate in the Victory "Gallop" which was executed at the trot. very fun.
|"victory!" (of sorts)|
The bieggest bobble was my quasi-rollback to the red line, you'll see it... it doesn't look very relaxed or flowing.
I was pretty happy with the round and we pinned 2nd, but I could tell that Prairie was unraveling.
When we went back in for our Eq round she was cooked. Her jaw was tight and she was not interested in my half halts or suggestions of pace...
I gave her a bad ride for our rollback and she made it known by pulling a rail (which she rarely does). The rest was okay, but after out last fence (away from home with a long landing) Prair totally suht down and although it doesn't really look like she's running away with me - make no mistake, she was.
I waited till I was under the judge and hopefully out of sight before totally wrestling with her but I legit didn't think we were going to ever stop cantering. Twit.
|Whacking the rail in our rollback... she popped that leg RIGHT up..|
|Picking up pace....|
|Favorite shot of the day.. the skinny and last fence of the Eq course|
We lost our shot at a perfect "30" for our Eq division but still pinned 3rd, which was enough to snag Champion. Additionally, our 1st, two 2nds and 3rd in our hunter division was enough for Reserve. (!!)
Two tri-colors was unexpected and totally awesome. The only (slight) sadness was when the show office announced that while they had coolers for Hunter Champions (but not our faux Pre-Green win) Eq champions would get a sweatshirt. I was assured it would be a really, really, cool sweatshirt, but WAH.
I know, I know.. not really a problem, but I was so excited! and the sweatshirt really wasn't as cool as promised (duh). I'm tempted to cut out the "Equitation Champion" part and safety pin it to a cooler I already own. That would be classy right??
It was a great show. Prair totally held it together, we had our best rounds to date and came home with more loot than one should be allowed.
Additionally it was lots of firsts:
My first Championship ever (that I've ridden... even if there's no cooler)
My first Reserve Ch. in a Hunter division!
My first Derby (or half of one)
My first time going off course... (oops)
My first... NECK RIBBON (even if I didn't really deserve it)
Mostly all good things, and even the off course was good in the sense that I was zoned out thinking about how good Prair was being as opposed to missing a fence because I couldn't turn her or because I was so mad at her or something else less flattering.
S's Handy round to come tomorrow.. I still need to get that video off my camera.
I'll take it.