I've also developed a plan for my dressage warm up. What? Not just madly bounce around the warm up until it was time for my test? Instead I worked on getting the connection by doing lots and lots of transitions between gaits and insisting on being connected and soft. My warm up wasn't nearly as nice as what we've been getting at home. Even though Annie is very comfortable with Come Again Farms, schooling in a field is different from schooling in the indoor at home. We're on GRASS!!!! in the great outdoors and there is lots to look at. I worked on using the several different connected fields, staying away from any horse having hysterics, and pushing hard for the connection.
I also developed a "enter the ring" plan. How was I going to use my time schooling in the ring before the judge rung the bell? How was I going to exit the ring, turn around, and enter at A while keeping my connection during that tight turn?
It felt like a nice test. There wasn't any bucking!!!!! My trot walk transition RIGHT in front of the judge at A was fantastic. My transitions to the canter were disconnected, which I expected, but my downward transitions were "not that bad" considering that we usually motorbike through them.
I got a few compliments leaving the ring, just people being nice I thought.
Standing around watching the lower division (I LOVE that there's actually a "lower division!") someone who knew me came up and asked
"Are you the person riding Annie? Did you look at your dressage score?"
"You're in first."
WHAT? Pfffft. No way. Like did everyone else fall off?
Standing there looking at my dressage score I got a little teary eyed. I was hoping for a 38 or maybe a 37. Whatever, just out of the 40s. But a 31? In dressage? ME? ANNIE?
I was very proud of our work and very very happy!!!
For show jumping I continued on with my warm up plan. Jump three or four fences, test breaks and gas, and get the heck out of the warm up before I got flattened or lost my nerve.
I also had a different goal. I wanted to WIN. I wanted a blue ribbon. Annie's first blue ribbon at a CT. I wanted to finish on my God Damn dressage score. ME. I came into the ring in the best way possible to show Annie the ring. I counted in my head THE ENTIRE TIME.
ONE TWO ONE TWO ONE TWO THREE release damn it. ONE TWO ONE TWO.....
I thought about my use of the ring, keeping her attention in any places she might get distracted, my rhythm, my flow.
Clear round. Blue Ribbon. Fireworks! Victory Gallop! (not really).
What's next? Did I really enter BN at Dan Hobyn? Am I going to throw up?