Things were not looking too good for the May show. I hadn't had a lesson with trainer since before the April Heartland show. Trainer was quite busy that month and I work weekdays so it is difficult to manage a weeknight lesson, plus trainer is generally booked in the evenings. When I finally got someone to agree to let me hog their weeknight lesson Stella promptly went lame. I felt like a pain for all the arranging people did to let me join and then I wasn't able to go. Boooo.
So I entered the show anyway. Cause why not? I figured she'd do her usual thing and be sound the week before. Then we had 4 straight days of rain where the horses stayed in. Like 7 inches of ridiculous wetness. A local HT had to cancel XC and run their show as a CT, for the second year in a row. Rumor is the show is cursed. I lunged Stella on day three and from what I could tell she appeared sound. I mean, in between the rearing and leaping and bucking and I didn't know horses could do that she looked sound. So I gave her two days turnout, scheduled another lesson, then cancelled it exactly 5 minutes later when my BM texted me to say she looked lame again.
Another call to my farrier with a good bit of begging and he came out to reset her hind shoes, finding an abscess under one which answered why she wouldn't pick up her feet for him the last time. He found the remains of a front abscess and said if he beveled it she would be good to go. So I packed her feet with the newly discovered to me miracle stuff Magic Cushion and loaded her up having not ridden her in over two weeks.
Friday night she schooled fine, except a wee bit fresh. Considering things, I was happy to not get dumped.
Spent the night in my trailer with a lumpy sleeping bag (don't wash cheap sleeping bags) when it dipped into the 40s. Popsicle eventer. Eventer with trailer. 8am ride time. No sleep for me. Cold pillow.
Had an even fresher horse Saturday at 7:30 am for my test. I spent most of my warm up in an indoor because it was so soggy on the grass and when I did head for the grass I had a behind the leg horse but I could tell she was being very careful of the ground.
What I really like about this season is that she's warming up great, with only a few minutes of SNORK!!! before she goes to work and drops onto the bit. I can't hold onto it when we enter a new location like the show ring, but I am getting it more and more consistently at home and warming up so I know it's coming. I actually got some pretty decent scores despite me squeezing her a bit too much and demoing and excellent canter entrance in our Intro test.
Show jumping warm up she was also quite unwilling to go forward but she jumped all her warm up fences. I think that's the first time she hasn't stopped at the first warm up fence so I was thrilled. Unfortunately over the last fence she left long and I got her in the face which caused her to slip on landing and then we had a rather dramatic melt down involving lots of head throwing, bucking, popping up, and general "I've been so good lady considering the circumstances but I'm OVER IT" I tried to get her going again then just headed over to the ring.
I had a nice discussion with a helpful local trainer about what I should change about my riding on footing like that and was happy to learn my instincts were on target.
We made it over all of our fences!!! No stops at the first fence, and no thinking about stopping to anything else. We had some technical issues with steering where she still hadn't forgiven me for catching her in the mouth and wanted to leave the arena early but the actual jumping went great and we beat some cute kids on ponies for a respectable second place. I got some super nice compliments about my riding from both long suffering trainer, another trainer, the judge whom I've lesson-ed with before, and a few friends who have seen some of my struggles learning to ride Stella. The fences looked pretty small and I'm really hoping we can finally move up a level to a slightly less weenie division.