Sunday was the CAF HT.
Saturday night I figured out that grass = eating or galloping to Annie but DOES NOT equal dressaging so we warmed up Sunday morning in the indoor.
I was pretty happy with most of the test, she picked up both her leads with her head down (YEAHHH) but got slow enough in the right lead despite all my leg on her that I popped her with the whip and made her buck so we got a 3 for that movement.
Despite that we came in 6th out of 11 which was pretty darn good for us.
Stadium warm up was crazy. I HATE warming up with a bunch of people and I would rather jump two or three fences and get out of there before I screwed something up but that didn't happen. For some reason I have a huge problem with airy oxers in warm ups, I would rather not jump the oxer at all unless I am feeling confident up to that point which I was not at all. I have more of an issue with the warm up oxers and less of an issue with filled in oxers in the ring. This is how big my oxer was. Or at least appeared to be. It may have been wider.
I had to pull up several times because people either cut me off or were screaming their fences from down the road and around the corner. I don't understand how some people don't call their fences, some do, and others call from a mile away. I'd already landed in a heap over the vertical and crossrail and I was totally frazzled having to canter everything.
So by the time I actually cantered down to the oxer I didn't WANT TO DO IT. I think if I was able to take my time and trot to it I would have been fine, enough time to think and enough time to put my leg on and urge Annie onward. I feel like my cantering courses is just now coming together and I feel like I'm out of control cantering the long spot of a warm up fence. So we stopped. Twice.
Someone told me to do it again but by this point I was pretty much done. Then someone was screaming at me to move as we stopped right in front of another fence and they were apparently not going to circle so I screamed at them. Then apologized, but still.
Luckily someone took pity on me and lowered the rail which I then trotted and the circled back and trotted it with the rail up. After that I was pretty unnerved and only jumped another fence because someone made me.
So in the ring I let Annie stop at an oxer gate. It was next to the warm up and she kind of looked in that direction and I figured she was going to stop anyway so I might as well not be belting down toward it so I let her. The rest of the course rode well until the final fence, which a bunch of other people had problems with. It was new and had words on it and came out of a corner and everyone else was stopping so why shouldn't I? So once again I cantered down to it out of the corner riding backwards expecting a stop but not being proactive enough and she stopped. Twice.
Here's the gate we stopped at. After she stopped I did a circle and jumped it while yelling at her to GET!!!
So now I was officially out of any ribbon and got the big E.
XC warm up I went back to my official strategy. Stay calm, jump as few fences as possible, then go. I jumped the log twice and the crossrail once.
LAZ had put gravel in front of the first fence to cover up an unsafe patch of ground and this proved to be the most challenging element. Annie spun around, backed up, and then finally crept sideways around the gravel to climb over the first fence from a standstill. More gravel before fence 2 and more snoring then she finally realized what we were doing and she was all business. She pulled me toward all the fences and even trotted through the water without even a bit of hesitation.
So I'm happy with XC and Dressage but upset about show jumping. I don't know what to do about the warmup. Should I continue to do things in warm up that bother me because real eventers don't just trot two fences ignore the oxer and go in? Or do I stay in my comfort zone in warm up until I'm comfortable enough to do more? I'm fine cantering my course now because I've been doing that so does that mean that I'm not allowed to trot anything in warm up? All I know is if I get rattled in warm up it's over.
All photos courtesy of LAZ who not only runs the entire show but takes pictures as well! As usual the food and the weather were fantastic!