Worked like a charm:) I had 3 hours before xc, so I pulled up a chair, consumed yet another bottle of water, munched on some snacks, and chilled out. I had figured out the best way to get from the barn to the warmup, as the provided maps were next to useless, so I went ahead and changed into my super awesome shirt I'd just gotten for xc. Horses were passing our stalls left and right headed out to the course, and I saw one girl in particular that had her bada$$ on. The horse looked confident, she looked confident ... so I flipped on MY inner bada$$ and tried not to think about my looming E ...
Strapped on my medical armband so tightly I cut off the circulation in my arm, so I loosened that slightly, lol. Checked a dozen times to make sure I had my crop (I never ride with one), arm band, and bridle number (Hunterland uses back numbers) because the barn is a HIKE from the xc warm up. Tiki was chill and relaxed, showing none of his former propensity to be a nightmare. He stood still while I mounted with yet ANOTHER bottle of water in hand and waited patiently for Marisa and Pony to join us. As we hacked down the road, M and Tiki were happy to be with each other and looked around with ears perked and happy faces on:)
As we arrived at warmup, I was trying to keep it cool. Bada$$, remember? I trotted about 20 steps, cantered about 20 strides, reversed and repeated. He felt pretty dang GOOD. Wow. WAY different that our FIRST xc warmup at Chatt Hills. There was the usual x rail, vert, and oxer set up, but I ignored those and cantered the tiny log first. Tiki gave it his customary "solid jump look" as he bounded over with a pretty nice amount of air, then I came straightaway to the bigger log, which was a pretty solid 2'6/2'9. We had a slight miscue as to where to take off at, so I came into that one more time and he was PERFECT.. We got there 20 minutes before our ride times, and they were running about 10 mins early, so I was ready to just GO. ON. Remember that I had it on good authority that May-Daze was "ridiculously small; equal to about other HT's BN". OK, I don't know what division THAT person had been showing (Advanced, maybe?), but the course was NOT SMALL. IT WAS HUGE. This was literally going to be a round of the biggest, widest jumps we've EVER done. The terrain made even the 2'9ish jumps ride more like 3', and the 3'ish jumps ride more like 3'3. So I was quite literally quaking in my boots. 10 seconds! 3, 2, 1, Have a nice ride!
|Big, but I was ok with it.|
Jump 1 felt abso-frickingly loutely amazing! It was only about 10 strides beyond the start line, and he locked on and jumped right out of stride:)
|This one I was ok with because it's VERY similar to what we jump on the hunter pace.|
|This one I felt right at home; done dozens of these!|
|This was a tiny up bank ... WITHOUT the log of course!|
|Here is where I was half convinced we'd either be E'd, or have 20. Uh, bench jump, anyone?|
|This one is narrow and in the trees, so I knew I couldn't take it for granted|
|This one gave me SLIGHT pause because it's pretty stout, and SEE that stupid speaker RIGHT next to it?|
|This would have worried me a year ago, but not today!|
Fence 9 was the actual marked water crossing. It was again pretty small and brown, and it took me the entire time from 8 to get him to come down, lol. He was pumped UP! I came down to the trot again so I could line him up for the second of impossible fences ... I hadn't even been sure we'd MAKE it this far, so to be riding to it now scared me ...
|This thing is HUGE. WIDE. UPHILL. ACK!|
Fence 11 was another tiny up bank straight ahead to ...
|Our first combination!|
|The dreaded half coffin ...|
|This is a really stout rolltop|
|The log wasn't quite as tall as some, but it was a slight drop fence|
|Um really big table, Batman?|
|Well deserved chilling in front of the fan:):)|