(one year ago, before our
first only recognized horse trial!)
I could not POSSIBLY forget about the show on Sunday, though. What I DO remember about Friday is that he was really, really good. He was lazy as heck, but a few well timed squeeze of the spurs, and he was feeling better. Saturday, Tiki went outside during the day and stayed in that night because it was literally 4:15 am when we (Nicole and I) arrived on Sunday morning. The show was 2 hours away, so we loaded up Squeaky and Star Mare and made the uneventful trip north to Dahlonega, GA. He unloaded with a light sheen of sweat, and stood with his usual tail swishiness while I tacked him up. His IEA bit is his dressage bit (a jointed Myler D ring with no hooks) and the hunter bridle. No martingale or anything, because he REALLY doesn't need one, but I do use his fleecy boots in front and polos behind.
Mounted and walked him around outside the ring for about 10 minutes. I was hoping he would really relax in and settle down, but he didn't. He was fine outside, but the SECOND we stepped in the (DEEP) ring, he became jiggy, swishy, and head shakey. Ugh. It's been since February since he's been ridden with OTHER horses working around him, and he just hates it. That's why eventing suits us; it's a solitary sport. That's why my dressage tests have thus far been barely mediocre; group warm up. I TRIED to get him to bend, asking for some shoulder-in. I lost the hind end pretty hard core. Asked him to move off my leg and his head shot straight up and he spurted into a fast, choppy trot. Sigh. The other horses had already jumped around by the time I cantered, so I took him around. He was very pissy and got heavy on me. I REALLY wished I'd had the wonder bit in, but I do not want kids to have those kind of brakes to hit him with if they get left behind. Plus, as pissy as he was, he would only get behind the bit anyway, so I made the most of what we had. The jumps themselves were no problem, but the line that was supposedly a 5, I nearly caused him to flip in. I'm trying to get him to consistently "make the step", so I jumped in and used my leg. He was about 3/4 of a stride too far away, but he jumped anyway, and hung a leg pretty badly. Added and did 6, and it was perfect.
I buried him to the oxer once, but other than that mistake, he jumped around nicely. He had three flat classes and 2 jumping; one of the jumping he was pulled from because he is weight restricted, and an over the weight rider had drawn him by accident. So, one o/f, 3 flat. Well, his first rider BOOTED him in the very beginning, and he damn near bucked her off. It was ugly. In all 3 classes, he was cross cantering, flipping that head around, and actually picked all 4 feet of the ground and bucked a few times. He was JUST not happy:( To top things off, as we held him outside the ring, he was incessantly kicking that right hind ... over, and over, and over, etc. I had no less than 3 people suggest I may want to remove his polo wraps. I just smiled and said thanks, that's not it, but great suggestion. FRESH pony.
Finally, the flat torture was over, and he went in for his one jumping class; GREAT. He was SO much happier to be in the ring ALONE; it's like he was breathing a huge sigh of relief. His kid got a ribbon, and all was well:) Both of my teams (my 'other' highschool team, and a new middle school team) won Reserve Champion, yay! I will try ear plugs at the next show next Sunday, and may even spin him on the longe line for a few minutes before I get on to warm up. Hopefully it was just "haven't been anywhere in months and I'm fresh" syndrome, because when he's bad I take it personally.