However once she tritty trotted into the dressage ring my hopes were dashed. I don't know if it was the noise (thanks barrel racers) coming from the arena over the hill, the fact that she was alone when usually she was in the next ring over, or just bad behavior but it was a pretty miserable test. I had to go to my whip to keep her moving in the free walk. I was disappointed, the inconsistency is frustrating. So good in the warm up then SQUAT in the dressage ring.
She was mostly an old pro show jumping, plopping around the stadium course like she'd done it a thousand times (except for an arabian moment when faced with the very scary pile of jumps outside the arena!). It felt, dare I say, easy! We've also struggled with her being spooky jumping in new places so this was welcome. She doesn't want to stop at the fences, and since we're jumping it's less frustrating that her head is straight up in the air, but it's nice that she's feeling more confident in new places.
Cross country I was motivated to "be an eventer" I wanted to channel my inner brave person and actually gallop her around. My entire goal for this show was to make the time, something I've never actually done before. Cross country was a blast, and a challenge. Annie isn't as bold in places she's not familiar with, and she'd rather have two on the floor in a scary place so she's harder to keep cantering. I lost a stirrup once during a major spook at the canter sideways, and we did a canter half pass our entire way between fences three and four because there were bears in the tree line. But we cantered through the scary horse eating paths, and through the busy and looky water complex, and right smack down to the edge of the not as scary water, then some sort of giant leap SPLAT! right into the water. We trotted through the gravel path that she got stuck on last year, and unfortunately had a stop at the straw bale jump. Annie questioned its safety and I didn't give her confidence with my leg, damn it.
Then we galloped all the way home.
I even wore a watch, and wrote my minute markers down on my arm, and I even LOOKED at my watch! to find out I was mostly on time jumping over fence 4 (the two minute marker). I was thrilled to find out that I was TWO SECONDS UNDER time! Woot!
In the end our stop moved us from 11th place up to 7th place which happens to be my favorite color, purple! So not too shabby.
Next up, Annie goes to a dressage show!