Cathy was out of town that weekend so I put out a call to see if a friend who was also going could pick Annie up. Much to my surprise and gratitude a total stranger who boarded at Dan Hobyn said she would give me a ride. She ended up being busy doing show prep so "short trainer" Rachel picked me up in their trailer (a Corn Pro stock trailer). Since I was trailerless I crammed all my things into my car, no easy feat in a two door coupe.
Here's a picture of my car after the show
There was a (welcome) storm blowing in so Annie had to work in the indoor then Rachel opened the gate open and we ventured outside for a short hack in a bit of a sprinkle. Or rather, I whacked Annie and she trembled outside. I was really happy that I was able to ride her around in a strange place she had never seen before, without another horse or person in sight and she behaved herself like a professional. Here she is in her stall with her new (annoying) friend.
The storm changed the high temps for the day from a high of 93 to 82 so we really lucked out.
Annie is still convinced that warming up on grass is warming up for "galloping" so we had the world's happiest 20m circles but she really stepped up her game in the ring. I thought that it was a fairly solid test. I felt like she was tense over her back and in her pose instead of really connected and I am still having trouble making smooth transitions. However we ended up earning our highest score to date which was a 40 so it means that I actually broke into the %60 world for my first time ever!!!!! 40 was only good enough for last place but who cares.
Stadium was a struggle for me. It was deceptively hilly and Annie really got rolling downhill. I also let her stop at the brick wall. This is how the conversation went.
Annie "Are we supposed to jump that thing?"
me "I don't know, maybe?"
Annie "Hmmm, can I stop and sniff it first and check for monsters?"
me "Sure, whatever."
After stadium we took a nap and then we got to go XC schooling with Rachel and several of her other students. Annie has a big forward walk so despite being the shortest one out there we lead the bunch down the trail to the back XC field. We kind of snorted and spooked our way there since she hasn't figured out that her big walk puts her in front!
Annie grew at least 10 hands in the back field, there were a lot of horses running and jumping in varying degrees of control and a pony dumped it's kid when we got there and galloped past us headed for home. She only stopped to look at one fence, a coop with some funny bark on it. She jumped several log piles, other coops, and even TIRES!!! Then we led the group back down the path toward the main show area.
Annie was the first horse in the water. The Dan Hobyn water is a bit spooky. It's in a shady area and the water is very dark, there's also a big patch of mulch in front of it to provide more solid footing. We snorted sideways all the way down to it and I had to whack her but she went right into the water. Then another snort at the jump out of the water which had brush under it but she popped over from a walk. When we went back through the water she trotted right into it and popped out over the log like a pro.
After that we jumped a log and then I had selective hearing about jumping the GIGANTIC log that was next. Unfortunately Rachel was paying attention and made me jump it again which Annie did with no problems.
We did have a stop at the last fence, a big funny looking green barn. I felt like she wasn't really spooking at the barn but that it was getting further and further away from her buddies and the end of the farm lane was there with possible horse eating monsters beyond. I had to ride forward confidently and she jumped over it after that.
Annie really needed a bath after schooling (such a sweaty animal) and it took a friend whacking her with a sponge to get her in the spooky washrack. When she was in all I did was toss the leadrope over her back and she stood untied while I hosed her off. Silly mare.
At the end of the day Annie's adventure wasn't quite over. She had to ride home on another trailer, with someone else I had never met! One of the main things that attracted me to the sport of eventing was how friendly everyone is. I really appreciated having someone who didn't know me offer to haul my horse home. They had a really nice Hawk trailer with a ramp, which was Annie's first ramp so she had to eyeball it before she got on but get on she did.
It seems to have become standard for Annie to have a massage after she shows so Monday evening the massage lady came out to do Annie and I gave her the next three days off. Sometimes I like coming home early from the barn to clean the apartment, relax, and play Candy Crush. I've also noticed that after a hard day's work my horse gets hosed down, turned out, massaged, and a short vacation. What do I get? Some Alieve and right back to work. Nice huh?