Monday, May 28, 2012

The grand finale, or, Stadium!

After hacking back to the stables, Hosed Tiki yet again, for the third time today, sponged him off with Witchhazel, applied Sore No More to his legs, and stood him up in front.  Tucked him in with his fan, lots of hay, clean water, and his dinner.

Sunday morning I didn't forget anything in the room because we checked out of the hotel:)  My ankle felt quite stiff and sore, but I wrapped it up again and forgot about it.  After feeding the ponies breakfast, we found the stadium arena and walked the course.  Now, THIS I might call "soft".  I felt EXTREMELY confident, and knew that so long as he didn't have any lazy rails we'd go double clear.  Might I add that after our clear xc run, we'd moved up to 5th.  Hey, my lucky ribbon!  (I got a 5th at our first and only other HT at Chatt Hills). So I KNEW that as long as we jumped clear, we'd at LEAST get a pretty pink ribbon, yay!  2/3 of my goals were met, only one more to go!!!  Walked Muffin around some to make sure he wasn't stiff, and he looked great.  Took him up to the Wise Air booth to have one of those awesome saddles tried on him, and was supremely disappointed that the saddle did NOT fit.  At ALL.  It bridged VERY badly.  Sadly, the sweet sales reps were VERY nice, but neither one of them seemed to have an idea at ALL of saddle fit.  Really?  I like the saddles and would like to try one, but I'm not convinced they'll work at all.  I let them mess around with the trees and adjust a few of them, and don't think it made a differnece, but I MAY borrow one at the AEC's to actually strap on and try out.  Maybe the problem is it's so light it needs weight in it to fit well.  (wishful thinking I know)

jumps 1 and 2; 2'9 oxer to 2'9 vertical

Jumps 2 and 3.  3' vertical to 3' ramped oxer

Bit of a tight right hand turn to the double.  A fairly "normal" 2 strides

Final 3 on a related bending line distance

Headed down to an empty dressage ring to w/t/c.  He felt pretty good, and I kept it nice and light with almost a loopy rein.  Kept it VERY minimal because it was HOT, yesterday had been EPIC, and Friday he'd had that long trailer ride.  Went down by the ring, watched a few go, hacked in a ring alone again for a few minutes, then ventured into the actual warmup ring with the jumps.  I had ear plugs in today, just to see.  ALL I did was canter the x rail (perfect), canter the vertical off the other lead (perfect), then canter the oxer (perfect).  I then got out of that ring ASAP and stood in the shade until our turn.  I let him tour the jumps as we walked in, then picked up a lovely, rhythmic canter to jump 1.  I remembered to have a forward canter in since it was an oxer, then steadied him as we landed for the vertical after.  Trotted for a lead change, then awkward left hand turn to the next line of vertical in, oxer out.  He didn't touch either jump, it was good.  He landed right which was good, because the 2 was off a tight right hand turn.  Got him straight, clucked, and he jumped out with ease in 2.  As we made a big loopy left turn to the next line of oxer to vertical, he did try to flatten out a little bit, but I sat up, kept my hands up, and balanced.  He knocked the vertical coming out, but it stayed up.  Trotted again for a final lead change, and came in left lead to a vertical/oxer/oxer.  He did 5 in the first bending line (and I let him go forward to the oxer), then went ahead and cruised down the line for the final oxer.  CLEAR!!! WOO HOO!!!  I DID IT!!!!  I couldn't believe we'd actually done it this time.  Finished on our (decent) dressage score!  I was so damn proud I couldn't see straight:):)  I'd conquered the biggest xc course we'd ever seen, I'd gone in "cold" and jumped a 3' showjumping course, all with NO penalties!  We were NO worse than 5th:)  And there were a LOT of 4 fault stadium rounds:)  So, we just waited patiently in the shade and waited to hear when we were called.

Our FIRST top 3!!!
Overall I had the time of my LIFE.  It was unbelievable.  GREAT trips.  I definitely want to come back and do Novice again next year.  Training had some HUGE tables, and some narrow chevrons, WOW.  Definitely not something we can tackle next year, but maybe the year after that:)  I think after this weekend that we'll definitely not drop back down to BN.  We're now N all the way unless we run into some severe confidence issues.  The course was big, but did EXACTLY what it intended, which was to instill confidence:)  Our xc time was 3rd fastest, by the way:)  4.34 or something like that, with me getting lost, and WALKING into both waters lol.  Probably a good choice on my part to do that I think, because speed faults began at 4.06.  I do NOT keep the time, and I don't plan to.  I just go off what I'm feeling, and my feeling was we were fast, which we WERE, so I tried to negate that as much as possible.

Galloping in third place, I had the biggest, goofiest grin on my face.  It was incredible.  The song we galloped to was the theme song to Mission:  Impossible lol.  It was awesome!


  1. HUGE congratulations! What an amazing job you've done with your sweet boy:) Well deserved!