So here we go.
|extremely wet horse. not actually this dappled|
I have mentioned (several times now) that the last two days (of the first week) at Tbird were apocalyptic. There was so much rain that many barns opted to scratch all together and play another day.
I, however- wasn't able to stay for the second week of showing which was (of course) forecasted to have sunny weather in the 70's and 80's. Instead there was a run on all raingear (I legit saw one lady take the "sale" sign off her winter clothing rack... lolz) and we all whined and complained and felt a little better when we realized that putting some Bailey's in our coffee was totally allowed (sorta).
Winds was ticked. The drizzle from Friday had turned into an all our downpour and while he had been tolerating it (kinda) before, he wasn't a thrilled horse. I didn't blame him, so we kept the warm up short and sweet hoping to be in and out and back in a mostly dry stall as quickly as possible.
The first trip was beautiful. All the rain meant that (once again) I didn't hack or lunge or do anything extra outside that wasn't absolutely necessary, so Windsy was (still) pretty forward thinking. I deliberately tried to not choke him to death and fortified by my (huge) coffee with a (little) Bailey's, I succeeded. We stayed smooth, and forward and given how many people fell, off that's all it took for a first place.
|(new fav picture)|
Only 10 came back for the hack, which I totally get because the rain somehow got even worse for that. In fact as a bunch of us were all waiting around at the back gate for the final few rounds to finish, we were all questioning our collective sanity.
It became downright comedic when after the class was called to the center of the arena, we realized our announcer was also calling another flat class in the adjacent ring and there was zero chance he was going to pin our class until that one was also waiting in the middle of the arena (in the pouring rain).
So we stood.
In the pouring rain.
All the horses had flopped out ears and droopy necks and we all looked like a collectively defeated bunch.
It was absurd. I wish I could have taken a picture of the soggy line up of the drenched horses and very wet riders.
Showing, man. I really don't know why we do it...
Anyway, the class itself was awesome and Winds was really moving out nicely. He floats so well to the right, that it's a bummer we don't start that direction as I think our first impression would be stronger. Somehow we snagged a 2nd (sensing a theme here?) behind a really lovely mover that I'm not sure even Prair would have beat...
Going into Sunday I was only a couple points behind the hack winner for the division, but you know... who's counting.
I thought I had two rounds left and a classic, but apparently there was only one round left for the division.... and the classic, so it was a light day.
Again the rain, and again Winds was upset but not demonstrative. Again we warmed up in 3 seconds flat and again we did pretty well.
The clouds actually parted a bit and we rode our final rounds in a sprinkle which felt down right lovely after the crazy weather.
My first round has a gerat first fence, then I cut my next two corners which caused us to drift and lose my distance. I fixed that particular issue and the rest of the course was pretty tidy. We managed a 77 which, after watching the video back seemed a bit generous.
The second round I made a point of really holding my lines and staying straight out of the corner. Winds was adjustable and lovely and we pulled down an 84 for a total of 161. I love when they announce scores for a class (be it a WCHR week or a derby or a classic or whatever) it just is so education for me, especially when I watch other rounds in the same class. I'm still relatively new to the whole hunter thing and I enjoy seeing the differences in judges and what they emphasize...
This is a round I'm proud of. I love how consistent our balance is getting, and I'm loving Winds' frame. He's light and forward and easy to find the jumps on when I keep him there. What a dude.
Anyway, 161 held on for a 2nd out of 18 and (another) blue ribbon which is awesome and will help rebuild the ribbon wall, lol.
(I remain conflicted about how to arrange the weird Canadian ribbons... by color or by placing??? What do you guys do?)
The first round 77 was good enough for 5th and grabbing (another) reserve. So, we are nothing if not consistent!!!
Really though I feel fabulous about the week and how Winds performed. I also feel good about the progress I'm making in my own riding and feeling more confident on him.
Horses leave Monday for the next couple of weeks showing, so we get to go right back in and keep working at it!