The phone call went something like this…
Me to Trainer: “Heeeey… I did a thing…”
Trainer: “Oh god what did you do?”
Me: “I forgot my saddles.”
Trainer: *busts out laughing* “You’re an idiot!!!” *more hysterical laughter* “YOU FORGOT YOUR SADDLES?? YOU MORON!!!” *even more hysterical laughter* “It’s ok you can use mine.”
Yes I forgot my saddles. No lie. Can’t even make this shit up. I’ve forgotten a lot of things while packing for shows over the past 20 years, but SADDLES? I will probably never live this one down, and honestly I probably don’t deserve to. So dumb. BUT, I will say… forgetting my saddles turned out to be the most serendipitous thing that could have possibly happened, and it totally saved my hide on XC. We’ll get to that tomorrow.
We got to the show early on Saturday with plans to school the bank elements on course. I love this show because they keep their recognized course (which is fairly beefy) but allow schooling the day before. I didn’t want to do much, so we just hopped through both bank complexes and called it a day. Whatever that bank issue was that we had a couple months ago, it’s totally gone now. He didn’t even consider hesitating, not even at the ginormous drop. I think it also helps that he seems to love this venue, he’s always good there (duly noted, we will be back for the recognized show in September).
After I finished getting him bathed and settled in, cleaned my tack, set up my tent, walked stadium, and took a shower, I pretty much just went to bed. At like 8:30. Because I’m old and grumpy. Get off my lawn.
But I was up nice and early with plenty of time to slowly crawl out of my tent, feed Henry, and take him for a long walk/graze while the sun came up. I really love being the first person up and about at shows, there’s something extra peaceful about the calm before the chaos.
When I got on for dressage I wasn’t sure what horse I would have. He was so awful in our dressage lesson last weekend, and hadn’t been much better at home all week. The bit experiment was a massive failure. According to Henry the Myler was a bike chain and the Happy Mouth was plastic-coated murder. He reverted to Henry of 2015 – very stiff and chompy. I put him back in his KK and spent the rest of the week trying to put his brain back in, with varied success. Next time I think of changing ANYTHING with this horse, just tell me not to. He doesn’t do change. He’s the equine version of Rainman.
I didn’t quite have the horse I had a few weeks ago, but it was a massive improvement. For the most part he was staying in the contact and being pretty obedient. I have literally no media from dressage (not even a pic of the test sheet because I forgot to pick it up. God, I swear this is not my first horse show.) but it was about on par with our normal efforts. It was our first time doing test B, which is definitely the harder one at Training for Henry, but I was satisfied with the effort. The figure 8 of 15m circles at X went better than I thought they would and I actually got a genuine trot lengthening at the end. Canter lengthenings on a circle are not our forte, though. In my head it was somewhere around a 35, but we had a super generous judge and she gave us a 29.1. She was equally generous with everyone, so that put us 4th after dressage. I’ll shut up and take it.
Most importantly though – DRESSAGE WAS OVER! Time for the fun parts! And this is about the time Michele showed up…