Emma, over at Fraidy Cat Eventing has a great contest going called Eventing Bingo, where you get an assigned Bingo card and have to write a believable story around the card spots to get BINGO!
Here's my entry!
Annie wasn't always the most perfect horse out there. In fact, we had some rough patches in our show career together as Annie learned how to be a team player, and how to trust my judgement and respect my wishes.
I had a hard time getting Annie to pick her her canter when I restarted her, she had been shanked in the mouth in order to get a "lope" so many times she either wouldn't pick the canter up at all, or would throw her head constantly. I had her picking her left lead pretty good, but I foolishly entered her first CT ever and didn't realize it was a WTC canter test until three weeks out. We still didn't have a right lead.
Morning of the test it was snowing. I felt like I was doomed. However, Annie was a very good girl and promptly picked up her right lead when asked. Judge called it EXUBERANT, and we got a four on the movement when she quickly swapped to the wrong lead.
Our dressage woes gradually went away but cropped back up when Annie realized I was less likely to whack her for being lazy in the dressage ring. Which lead to this lovely test when I brought the hammer down for the lack of obedience to my leg. She jigged through the entire free walk so we got a big fat "free walk not shown" but the next test was amazing!!
Luckily she was never THAT HORSE in the warm up as she was always pretty good on the flat. Nothing compares to Nikki running backwards out of the dressage warm up because she couldn't deal with the crowd. When in doubt, back out. Nikki eventually mostly became comfortable with crowded dressage warm ups, although oddly she never had the same fears in jumping warm up, even crazy ones. Go figure.
Nikki also never had a problem going forward on the XC course so I was quite surprised during Annie's first XC run when we racked up 2 minutes of penalties. Due to a golf cart. Lurking in the woods. Suspiciously. No amount of beating got her to move while she remained on high alert. Eventually the golf cart inhabitants got tired of waiting and moved on and so did we.
Would you believe that we actually got a ribbon? Apparently we didn't have any stops at the fences on stadium and XC and our dressage by that point was decent enough!
I always like to look back at past shows and years and it makes me all fuzzy and warm to see the improvements. From horses who were in dead last after dressage to horses that won on their dressage score. Horses that spooked and snorted over a pile of poles on the ground at their first show over fences to horses that bravely jumped their first roll top.
Eventing, never the same ride twice!