Ok so let's break this down into a few posts because I've got a few thoughts and revelations about this latest show.
Just to set this up, I entered this show about a month ago and ive been stressing about it ever since. First was the mouth ulcers, then her eye ulcer. THEN she cut her leg and it blew up a bit (I didn't write about it) the week before the show, but it went down to normal overnight with no bute so PHEW. Then, the week of, on the Monday right before a dressage lesson with Ann, she blew up around her jowls with bloody grass mumphs again. Ffs horse. I rode her in the lesson anyway, and it was a good lesson, and I learned a lot, but it was the last time I rode before the show on Saturday because I got gastro Tues/Wed, then I had to work Thursday, then Friday it absolutely pissed down with rain all day long, hard. Andrea rode on Thursday and said she was difficult and we both agree that she's a bit hormonal right now, seeing as spring has sprung. So yeah. Not the best prep.
Saturday dawned drizzly but with predictions of clearing skies and I wasn't about to scratch just for a bit of rain so off we went. I thought about plaiting up the night before as I had an 8.35am draw for dressage but Allie scratches plaits out if I leave them in so we normally plait up the morning of.
They looked like a series of man-messy-buns sewn in haphazardly because OMG A TRUCK and JEEZ A FLOAT IS PULLING IN and I WANT TO TURN AROUND AND LOOK AT THAT DOG and you get the picture. She was on edge and would not stand to be plaited. Also, this ate into my warm up time so we ended up with about 20 minutes warm up. Linda came and gave me a mini lesson in the warm up but we had to get down there to do the test.
I've got video of our dressage but I'm not ready to watch it yet. It was absolutely awful. You know when you see a test and the horse is so tense that it won't canter, then it won't trot, and it won't turn, then it won't go forward, and the rider is pony club kicking just to keep it inside the arena and the judge has to talk to the rider after the test to make herself feel better about the abysmal scores she has had to give? Yeah, that was us on Saturday. My normally 60% without trying horse got a 47%. She was that tense and cranky.
I took it well though, I was disappointed but not devastated and Linda was like "you're going straight back up to the warm up and you're RIDING this horse for a while, ok?" So that's what we did. I rode her for about another 30-40 minutes and made her work, Linda coaching every step of the way. Allie was like "fuck you I'm not cantering with a contact thanks" and tried every trick in the book to get out of working. Now, previously, my fitness hasn't been enough to deal with this stuff, and I've never shown her when shes been in season, but on Saturday I was glad that I was fit enough to keep my leg on and stay with her 99% of the time to ride her through it.
So, what have I learned? Plait up earlier at home. Warm up longer. Try to make it a priority to ride her properly the week leading up to the event. Don't be afraid to make her do things with a proper contact. Bend and flex her constantly until she lets go of her rib cage and doesn't blow out through the shoulder or the hip. Keep her straight when going to the right because she tends to overbend and overbend her a little when going to the left because she tends to go too straight.
We had a little time to relax before showjumping at 10.40, and she was much improved patience-wise while standing at the float after our mini lesson. She wanted to eat but wasn't interested in drinking.
|Who, me? Nooooooo...|
Next up, showjumping!