So, was planning my weekends ... this weekend, IEA show. Next weekend, nothing. The next weekend ... HORSE TRIAL!!! I realize that for those of you that do this all the time, it's not a big a deal. For me, I am SO STOKED!!!!!!!!! Never done anything like this before, and I am just SO excited.
Monday, I went with Marisa to go xc schooling at Calimar. It was ALL because Becca had her trailer parked at Joyce's, and was happy to let me steal it for the morning.:) The muffin had seemingly forgiven me for the body clip from Hell, and self loaded on the trailer on the 3rd attempt. An uneventful hour and a half later, I arrived a few minutes before Marisa. Unloaded the boy, unwrapped his legs, and saw the wound had opened up a little bit due to the wraps. The spot is RIGHT where the edge of his open fronts are, so for the first time I schooled with naked front legs. Still put the Woof boots on the hind, and let Marisa talk me into riding in my tall boots.:) We mounted up and headed to the usual side where I always start on.
Warmed up on the flat ... Muffin was quite fresh! He kept tucking his head down and stretching to his knees. Weird; he's never done that before! He got a little swishy swishy bucky bucky, but felt really good. Hopped over a hanging log; NO hesitation. Did hanging log to funky log; NO hesitation. Wow, he felt pretty good. Walked over to baby ditch; stop and leap. Again, and again. Again, and better. Walked over to big ditch. Stop, back rapidly. Crop, re-present, back rapidly. Crop, get ON to him, trot a little, and he jumped. I only did it the one time, lol! Chatt Hills doesn't have a ditch like that at all, so no sense in making the both of us miserable by continuing to drill.
Took a walk over to the water complex; splashed around and he was great. Went to drop in, and he pitched a little fit, again with the rapid backing. Hmmm, not a big fan of this. Came back to it, got onto him again, and he finally squirted in. Didn't mess with this a bunch either because again, nothing like it will be a question in the HT. Jumped a tall x rail towards the water on an angle; no surprise, he stopped. I took the blame for that one since he's never jumped towards the water so close to it, and I didn't even bother to get straight or give him a good approach. Cropped him anyway because he needs to learn at some point to get a little more brave and bail me out every once in a while. Came in straight and really rode it; he landed DEAD, but went through the water and out the other side. Fortunately, I was READY for the dead landing and didn't fall on his neck, haha.
Strung together a pretty tough line of a hanging log, big curvy approach to a y-shaped log, about 8 strides on a L bending line to a big up bank, then about 8 more strides on a R bending line to the train barrel jump. He handled it all like a champ!:)
Another string we did was the hanging log around to the y-log, long gallop to the "wavy rails" open coop, into the water via the ramp, then out the bank. He was a total rockstar; I had a miss at the wavy rails, but that was just because he was seriously on a gallop, and I whoaed a little too late, and rather than jumping out of stride, I tried to get to the base of it, and it was just too deep.
Finally, I put quite a few together. Tiny down bank straight ahead to the hanging log, long gallop to teeny ditch, about a 10 stride R bending line to the 2 stride of hanging logs, lincoln logs into the showjumping ring, around the dressage ring, out the (massive) bench, LONG gallop to the y-log, to the wavy rails, into the water, then out the bank. He'd never jumped the bench; I was afraid of it. Didn't let him get a good look at it because I wanted to do it "cold". All was GREAT until the 2 stride; did 2 and a chip as usual. Awesome over the lincoln logs and then ... cantered around the corner TOTALLY on the forehand, NOT sitting up, leaning forward, holding my neck strap, and crooked. Pulled my right rein and steered to the bench ... when Tiki realized what I meant to jump, he SLAMMED on the brakes a good 5 strides out. Since I had NO canter, NO seat, and NO shoulders, I had no recourse. Opted NOT to push it because I was afraid, and it was a lot bigger than the one I'd already jumped at Chatt Hills. Backtracked to the lincoln logs again, then finished the course on a GREAT note. NAILED the wavy rails this time.
Finished by doing the start again, but adding on the little down bank at the beginning. No hesitation at all off the bank, down to the Cedar Rail this time that he never jumps well. STILL didn't jump it well, but this was the FIRST time he actually jumped it without a 2nd thought. Continued to the ditch, and it was the BEST ditch we'd ever done. To the 2 stride, and I galloped in, landed, galloped, and jumped out in the TWO, WOO HOO! First time, lol. Finished with LL into the ring, schooled the dressage test, then headed home.
Overall, he was just amazing. I'm still nervous, but I DO feel better. Gave him Tuesday off, longed him today (over trot poles), and having a dressage lesson tomorrow. Will probably jump small stuff (under 2'6) Friday, Saturday off, then IEA show Sunday.