Well… that was embarrassing. Henry has been so good all year that I suppose we were due for a clunker, but when we throw in a clunker, we REALLY throw in a clunker. I’m not really sure what was up with him this weekend, he was just kind of pissy in general and not himself. If he was a mare I’d swear he was in heat, but alas he is not, so I’m at a loss. I’m having the vet out this week just to make sure there’s nothing physically wrong.
He warmed up for dressage really well. Like, REALLY well. He was moving great and our connection was great, and he was actually fairly uphill for once. Impulsion is magical. We were the very first horse to go for dressage and it was quite a bit colder that morning than it has been, so I figured that had something to do with it.
When we went over to the the dressage arena we’d just barely started to trot around when the judge rang the bell, so we weren’t even able to make a full lap of the arena before we went in. And as soon as he stepped foot in the ring, he took one look at the gazebo and the videographer and decided that he was super tense and kind of wild, and that I could take this dressage bullshit and shove it where the sun don’t shine. The first half of the test was an effort of trying to keep him IN the ring (I’m not shitting you, he hit a post with his foot and knocked down a length of the plastic chain. It was all I could do to keep him from ducking out at A.) and at the correct gait.
By the end of the test he finally started to settle and we got a few good movements, but in general he was just lit up and not very rideable. We ended up with a much deserved 40, our worst score ever. Although funnily enough everyone else on their green horses had a pretty similar morning, because after dressage we were actually tied for 4th. What a shitshow that was. Somehow we still managed to get some good transition scores, an 8 for the halt, and a 7 for gaits though. I’ll take the charity.
Stadium wasn’t any better. In fact, it was much worse. Again he warmed up really well, and when we went in, we jumped fence 1 fine, had a good approach to 2 but he was just diving down onto his shoulder at the base, so we had a rail there. After that, everything just went all to hell. He pulled me past pretty much every distance, got super flat, and tapped or knocked down pretty much everything.
At the two stride he landed so far into the line that we baaaaaaaarely fit in a second stride, and he popped straight up in the air over the out, almost tossing me right over his shoulder. I had to monkey climb my way back into the saddle, and since I was now at an impossible approach to the next fence, I had no choice but to circle.
Myself and my trainer only remember two rails but they had me down as having pulled three (that ain’t even worth trying to protest) plus my circle and a time fault. OUCH. OUUUUCCCHHH. We dropped from 4th to dead last.
I have no idea what the hell THAT was, but I’d like to never repeat it. I’ve never had such a bad round on that horse, and he’s never been so unrideable ever. Mortifying. I couldn’t find anything physically wrong with him and he was eating and drinking normally, so I just left him alone and decided to see how he felt the next day before XC.
Did I mention the XC course was the biggest, most technical course we’ve ever taken on? Yep, there’s that. I’m sure anyone who saw my stadium was like “This chick is going to DIE on XC”… because that’s totally what I would have thought too.