diaryofarider: (canter2012)
Wednesday, finished cramming 5 days of work into two days. It was also the day of my boss's farewell party, which I attended and spoke at. I was nervous and had a little trouble reading what I had written, but got laughs where I tried for them, and afterward people complimented me on it.
Thursday was madness- we got central A/C installed, so 5 people were tramping all through my house and yard for 5 hours while I tried to get Trudi and all my stuff ready. I had been up late the night before doing laundry and dishes, vacuuming, and making up a bed for my dad in the spare room in the basement. Hubby was grumpy and didn't lift a finger to help. Apparently HIS manager confided that HE was thinking of leaving the company, and hubby is worried and moping about it. As if all this was not enough, the new white trash neighbors moved in- they paid half a million for the place and were busy hauling in junky car after junky car- an old rusty hotrod, an old jeep, and an old muscle car, plus their two dogs. They seem like nice people but I'm not at all a fan of the way they seem to be junking up the place- plus they had trucks parked on either side of OUR driveway- not sure how trainer managed to back the trailer in, but he did.
A/C got installed and is very awesome because it is so much quieter than a window unit and allows us to close the windows against the neighbors and traffic.

While all this chaos was going on, I gave Trudi a bath and she was very good for it- she even let me tape plastic grocery bags around her hind feet to keep them dry (the farrier said the filler he used on her back feet would come loose if it got wet). When I finished, I hung up a haynet for her and was cleaning off my brushes, when I heard her grunt. I turned around and she was ROLLING IN THE DIRT. I had already taken the bags off her feet and didn't have time for another bath, so I wiped off the dirt with a wet sponge, scraped off the dirty water, threw a sheet on, and tied her to a tree.

She loaded perfectly and I drove down to Parker on surface streets while trainer took I-25. We got everything unloaded and schooled- she was on high alert, energetic and spooky, and she wasn't the only horse that way. It was a free for all and no one rode distinct figures or really bothered with left hand to left hand. We did manage to go to both competition rings, and I was very thankful for that later on in the weekend.

Friday I was up at 5AM and headed down. I was really nervous but I made myself eat a banana and drink orange juice on the way.
Our first test was early (8 something) and Trudi was still full of energy. It was 1st level test 2, the harder of the tests but the one I like better. I could hardly stay on and we had a break in the canter work, but I fixed it and we finished the test. I didn't want to see my score or the test and waited to get my tests after I finished my second ride.
Second ride, in the warmup some bitch rode straight into Trudi and I and another lady and her horse, and started doing a canter pirouette. I was so angry I nearly leapt off Trudi to drag her off her horse and pound the shit out of her. She was so rude, the other woman was furious too.
Later another woman and her horse actually bounced off Trudi's side when they passed us too closely, but she at least was sorry and even apologized again when they came around later.

We went in to do our second test and an FEI test was going on in the other ring. As we neared the bleachers sudden loud applause broke out and spooked Trudi really badly. It was a very big leap and scoot and I nearly came off. She was quick and tense after that but I did my best and we finished our test. I was bummed about it but trainer said he thought we would still score at least 60. I laughed and told him 45. We made a bet- he had $10 on 60% or higher, I bet we would score lower. He won the bet when we scored a 62.2

On Saturday we did 1st level test 2 again, with a different judge. We broke in the canter again, but ended up with exactly the same score as the day before- 65.313. We rode test 1 later, and got a 66.2, our highest score to date.

On Sunday, we did 1st level test 1 first. We were running a bit late as I was worn out and just kind of over showing, plus I had taken something at 2am when I woke up nervous and couldn't get back to sleep. Trudi was more tired and relaxed, and we went in and rode a mistake-free test that felt good. I was thrilled with how well she listened and with the fact that we had not had any breaks or mistakes. Unfortunately I guess we lacked brilliance, and I don't think the judge liked us very well- we only scored a 61.6.

We did our final test (1st level test 2) Sunday afternoon in a different arena- I had seen a horse having a fit there the day before and was worried Trudi would spook and/or refuse to go into that corner. They were running ahead of schedule and we had the option to go early- she felt pretty good in the warmup and I was ready to be done, so we went in early. Trudi got energized as soon as we entered that area, and did not want to go past B or the bleachers as we headed around the ring, but I told her it was ok and bumped her along with my leg, and she let me send her on.

I had my hands full and she was pulling, my dad had my camera, which was nice, except that she had her mouth open most of the test. Guess I should start actually tightening the flash a little :P. I got kind of lost even though trainer was reading for me, and for the first canter circle I was like, "Shit, I think we are supposed to be cantering a circle now" and I managed to haul poor Trudi off the track and onto a 15 meter circle. Later I couldn't remember what letter we were supposed to go to in our lengthening, but figured it out before we got there.

Our score from the judge at C (same judge as Friday) was, anyone? 65.313
For whatever reason there was also a judge at B (same judge from Sunday morning) and she gave us a 62.5 so we ended up with a 63.9.

After the test I went back to the warm up and schooled the canter work from 1st 2. We rode it as well as we ever have and it felt fantastic. Just for grins since we had a large area with great footing, I rode a shallow canter loop ala 1st 3 and it was easy. I told Trudi how proud I was of her and we cooled out and went home.

The best thing was getting so many 7s and 7.5s, and I got a 7 on almost every test for position. Trudi got a 7 on almost every test for gaits also.

Nice photos other than my horse's open mouth (if you look closely in the first picture, you can see that all 4 hooves are off the ground ^_^):





Happy to be DONE:

diaryofarider: (Default)
So today I was going to try so very hard to get a respectable score on my test. My alarm did not go off and I was awakened by my dad knocking on the front door.
I hussled and got ready, and we still got to the show grounds at the appointed time. Went to look at ride times- and I was due for a test in 15 minutes. CRAP. I would have given it a shot but trainer was all, "Uh, no."
So I scratched and got ready for my next class. Warmup was very hard- trainer wanted a stronger connection to the bit, which felt to me like Trudi hanging on me. I was very worried about this but she said it looked much better and that I basically need to suck it up and get used to it, because Trudi is ready to work all the time now, which is a good thing, but that doesn't mean she's going to like it or that it will be easy.
Trudi slammed on the brakes on the way to the ring for our test, but I got her through there and began trotting around.
When I said "Good morning," to the judge she actually smiled (different judge than yesterday) and so we trotted on in after hearing the whistle. Got through our figure 8, and then Trudi went "A, exit, working trot."
GROAN. I was mortified and totally unprepared for it. I tried to get her back in and eventually just turned her around. I put her into a canter, circled, did the half circle, got back to trot, totally messed up all the walk work as we drunken sailored our way to and fro in limbo between A, E, and B. We kinda scrambled into a trot and canter, and Trudi tried to shuck n jive a bit in the circle and swapped leads behind- so I brought her back to trot and put her back into canter just so we could finish another quarter of a 20 m circle. I gave the reins on the stretchy circle and prayed we would not end up in Wyoming, then we came back around to center and halted and saluted.
The judge said "I'm sorry," and I said, "I'm so sorry" and felt like a total ass. I was kinda crying and I apologized profusely to my trainer for being such a bad advertisement. She told me it was totally ok "It's just a horse show!" and gave me a hug.
Of course we were disqualified. I told trainer I wanted to school a little before we went back to the barn, and with the pressure gone I rode some fabulous canter on both leads. I was sitting perfectly, I could feel everything, I was totally relaxed and even thought about what a nice day it was and how good this felt. I was basically a completely different person from 5 minutes before.
In the end, the judge was the biggest sweetheart in the world. Her comments were "Super potential. Nothing the judge hasn't seen (or done) before." She scored the whole test for us and gave Trudi an 8 on gaits and me a 6 for rider.
So someone out there likes us. Thank you awesome judge. :)

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diaryofarider

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