The last day of showing was great, Prair was a rock star for our morning medal and Hunter Division - although when a coyote popped up out of the ditch at the end of the arena she maybe lost her marbles just a little. I opted to circle and let her walk for a sec so that we organized ourselves for a tidy last line home (I added for control). I patted her and told her that I am a-okay with her spooking at actual predators just so long as she doesn't spook at silly things like balloons, children or tents.
I think it's a fair arrangement.
For better or worse the coyote-round was our last go for that division so I didn't have a chance to go back in and make sure the end of the ring was safe. Maybe it was better that we had a break before forcing the issue - because two hours later when we went back for our Under Saddle - Prair acted like she had totally forgotten about the incident (good mare).
We had one final division for the day which was our baby 2' Eq. Prar bounced right back and gave me three lovely rounds, which I was more than happy to finish our time in Thermal on. Her lead changes were back to being crisp and clean and I felt like we had a great pace in all three rounds.
The division was small (only 8) so it zipped by pretty quick and before I knew it we were back in for Eq on the flat (boooo hiissssss). I'm always so much more confident with Prair in Under Saddle classes than I am with my own Eq on the flat. We have quickly gotten to the point that she is consistently better at her job than I am at mine (oops) - but I have learned that when I focus on riding it like an Under Saddle class and working to get the best performance out of the mare - I ride significantly better than when I obsess about my eq and get all tense and locked up trying to look up, get my leg down, etc.
It was potentially the longest flat class of my life, which is funny since we had some flat classes with 30+ in the ring that pinned faster. I think the judge was just making us do everything until at least two people screwed up. Whether that meant cantering until a couple horses broke or sitting the trot until people started bouncing off to the side or posting in revolt.
Apparently we held it together because we were rewarded with a first place - something I haven't seen for Eq on the flat in a while.
The whole division went well for us actually - two firsts over fences and a second, so along with our flat win we snagged one final championship and one more cooler to shove in the trunk.
I really don't mean to sound bratty or ungrateful but I've got to come up with some good ideas for what to do with four coolers!
I also spent some time with CWD. Which involved both the national sales manager and CEO watching me warm up for the Eq on the flat in my tack and proclaiming that I'm totally and completely in the wrong saddle. Wrong for Prair, wrong for me, wrong wrong wrong.
CEO man said that they were just going to order me another saddle. I can keep mine for now to ride in, and they'd have it fixed for Prair before I left, but really I just needed another saddle. It was moderately confusing to have the conversation as I was walking in the ring - but I promised to follow up with them at their booth after I was done.
When I did get to the booth I sat in every saddle all over again. They are pushing me toward a flatter seat (currently I ride int he SE02), but I'm not sure I love that. It was hard to tell since almost every saddle they had on hand was a narrow twist and I'm one of the weird people who likes a slightly wider twist. So it was hard for me to tell what was due to the seat or flap changing and what felt weird because of the twist...
Ultimately they decided that my weird femur doesn't really fit their traditional Hunter "L" flap which is what they thought I needed initially, but the forward "C" flap (which I have) also doesn't do much for me (given the way the saddle sits on Prair). Apparently they have a mysterious "F" flap that I have never heard of (or seen?) that they want me to sit in prior to ordering... There wasn't one in Thermal so I have one final date with my local rep to try the F flap next week. They did figure out what was preventing my saddle from really fitting Prair well and that seems to have been addressed, and the proper notations made for ordering the new saddle correctly to begin with.
I left feeling a bit better about the CWD solution even though I still have a bit of a funny taste in my mouth about the whole thing. I'm not bitter per se... just... not overwhelmed with how long this has all taken and that N basically had to throw a tantrum before we saw some serious response from the CWD team.
All's well that end's well though so I'm reserving final judgement until saddle 2.0 shows up.
After that it was just closing out at the office, final thanks and tips for the super amazing grooms we had with us and I was off.
Overall I couldn't ask for more. Prair and I dropped down a division and were really able to enjoy ourselves, while N got some good miles and I think knows what she needs to do for Prair to be ready for the Pre-Greens back at home.
I'm so grateful that my darling husband indulged me in this venture. It took a ton of time, energy and money (final followup on that to come) and I love that he was along for the whole ride.
The horses should be home later tonight, and after a well deserved rest, it's back to the grindstone and preparing for our local season kickoff the first two weeks of April. I won't be in the saddle, but I'll be rooting for the big mare from the sidelines. :)
|loaded up and headed north...|