There is a show recap coming of course but I want to wait until I have pictures to tell the whole story. Hopefully tomorrow! Plus I want to take a minute to reflect on all the positive before I get down to the nitty gritty details and start self-critiquing.
Henry was amazing this weekend at his very first event. The weather was very trying to say the least – super windy and rainy and wet. He had ample opportunity to give me the finger and decide he didn’t want to play, but he soldiered on and tried very hard for me in conditions that even much more experienced horses did not.
A couple weeks ago I said our goals were:
1) Remember dressage test – I did!
2) Stay in the ring – We did!
3) Don’t fall off – I didn’t!
3) Remember the stadium course – I did!
4) Don’t get eliminated – We didn’t!
6) Remember the XC course – I did!
7) DON’T FALL OFF – I didn’t!
8) DON’T GET ELIMINATED – I didn’t!
I want a number, not a letter. – We got a number! And a ribbon! And a bridle! Swag.
Based on that, it was a great success. And better yet, I came away with:
– The belief that this horse really could be a pretty competitive eventer. Considering we’ve had all of 4 dressage lessons and a couple of XC schools, I was super proud of how he stacked up to the competition. At the end of day 1 we were winning, and even though we didn’t hang on to it, I was ecstatic that it happened at all. The potential is there and I’m really encouraged.
– A long list of exactly what we need to work on. It was a fantastic learning experience both for me and the horse. We’ve got lots of things to tweak that will make for great improvement.
– A deep rooted respect and appreciation for the sport and my barnmates. When adversity rolls in (as in, flooding barns) these people are worker bees on a most impressive scale. No questions asked, no hesitation, no complaining, just a real “get it done, whatever it takes” spirit. I saw it over and over throughout the weekend in all kinds of situations. They are awesome. Despite being wet and cold and miserable for the majority of the weekend, I’m not sure that I’ve ever had more fun at a show.
While I’m gushing, I really want to give special thanks to my friend Michelle who drove 6 hours just to help me out and take pictures and provide moral support for our first event. That means a lot. And of course to Mango Bay and Firefly Bonnets for the support as well… even when we looked like drowned muddy rats, we were still stylin.
As you’ll see tomorrow, when I have nice pictures and more details…