What can I say about this weekend? Ups and Downs.
The dressage....just freaking awful. Worst test we have done in almost 4 years. I don't know if it was a combo of the weather (rainy ish), the ring (holey, sloping and soaking wet WTF) or yankee just being an idiot but after I thought I got stopped (at M I heard a whistle blow but it was for the other ring...this happened to about 10 other riders too) the test just went mega south. Brandon stopped taping when I stopped after M, but the judge waved me on so I kept going an he resumed from there.
The warm-up was exceptional, but our test, dismal. We got a 41.7 which is freaking terrible and it put us in dead last. I was crying down center line...I couldn't believe how badly he behaved. Its not like he is 4 again, he is NINE and has been eventing almost 6 years! I was about to just give the F up. At NOVICE we couldnt even rock out a dressage test with a 30 or less. I was beyond pissed and upset. He was dead to my leg, crooked to the left, bucked twice, tripped, broke gait 3 times and was just god awful. I was ashamed and hurt that my exceptionally well trained horse could be this bad. Someone comforted me by saying that since he knows prelim stuff, novice is too easy and he was just playing, but that playing put us in last in a field of 14. Beyond upsetting.
I can't say I was surprised though. The ring was AWFUL. Who the F gave permission to do dressage in a ring like that?? a rig should ALWAYS be flat and definetly not full of holes. I MUD STUDDED for dressage. WTF. It was slick as shit and he tripped twice, once pretty good at the walk near K. Many many horses fell actually t their knees or slipped badly. One horses even fell completely down! I will not be going back to Queeny Park unless they can fix the footing (terrible in all 3 phases). Not to mention, Dressage as 1.5 MILES from the barn. Least we had a good walk warm-up. HA!
But hey, whatever, I will take this as a learning lesson. I'm not so upset anymore, just wondering why he was so bad!
The braids I did for dressage. Getting better after ten years practice, haha.
Ok so after I cooled down from our worst test ever, I got ready for XC. I left his studs in since XC footing was retarded too. I was not nervous one bit. The course was a baby one and the only fence I was worried about was one -it was bright orange and pretty big with tons of flowers. The course as a whole was just one big loop and not challeging by any means. I was going to give this run a chance for us to practice pacing ourselves. Yankee being a TB is always hella fresh and tends to blast through the course without me realizing it!
Warm-up sucked ass. not only was it almost THREE MILES from the barns, but the area was severly hilly and HOLEY. WTF is with the holes here. Yankee almost bit the dust 4 times. I was nervous about the footing so we did mostly cantering in large loopy circles away from the inside of the field. He was jumping well and not one bit sucking back. I've tried hardly warming up, or running him in the ground and either way, he is ALWAYS fresh, so I've decided on 45 minutes total is perfect. 10 minutes walking, straight to cantering some fences, chill for 5 then cantering fences about every 2 minutes. Keeps his brain engaged. No matter though, he is always looky and retared the 1st fence.
We went right on time at 1:06, and like I predicted, he looked hard at the 1st fence. There were tons of ppl around since the start was also the finish, but it was low enough he sailed right over it. Cantering to #2 he was looking all around for the big fences. He kept jumping 2,3 and 4 like, "really mom? This is it? PFFFT!" Literally, he was, I think, upset I subjected him to this torture. I made him trot #5, 6 and 7 since we were up on time, realizing how short this course really was. He jumped #10, 11, 12 and 13 like they were nothing and I began to realize we were down on time now. This always happens, we go too fast, then too slow then we have to kick it into gear to get OPT time. So I let him really run through the water (#14 AB), the table #15, the bank #16 and home to #17 which you can see below the dressage vid.
As a whole I came in 3 seconds under OPT which is perfect. Even if we were wishy washy on speed. Its hard at the lower levels with a TB to keep it together! We had a double clear round, which to be honest, I was expecting. But I am really happy! I'm definetly ready to move back up to T, but I am going to do one more just to be sure. He was a hungry jumping hound, so I am no longer worried about that.
Even though I though XC was easy, apparently some did not. One got E, and others had issues so I actually moved up to 9th! Out of dead last! I was pretty happy, but at the same time I felt like I was cheating since Yanks can jump prelim no prob. Haha!
After XC, I cooled him out, hosed him off and let him be for a few hours. We watched Super 8 at the local movie theater and it was AWESOME! After that we came back to liniment/wrap him and walk him out. I started linementing his back and noticed he was extremely touchy. Like his back was so sensitive he almost fell down when I put the stuff on and began to massage it. I was concerned, but not suprised given the amount of almost-falling he did that day with the shitty footing. I went back to tenderly massaging his back and he stopped twitching after a few minutes. I walked him an extra 15 minutes and just hope he'd be ok. If he wasn't too sore in the A.M. I'd continue, but if he was too sore, I wasn't going to finish. XC was our issue, so scratching stadium wouldn't hurt me too bad.
I won't cliff-hang you...he was fine. Barely flniched when I massaged him the next morning..
to be continued...