The Twin Rivers event is finished and Letty and I can check the appropriate box:
- Event was a disaster and we wish we never came
- Horses were embarrassing examples of feral monsters
- Event felt easy and we feel prepared for the start of the season
- We won every single division and then some other divisions that we didn’t even ride in.
It feels great to have accomplished your goals and feel prepared for the next competition. It is SO easy to screw up one of the three phases in this darn sport, and I’m not talking about ribbons. I’m just talking about making sure that the delicate balance of training, health, fitness and confidence of the horse is maintained so that every day is a positive day.
Lear had the most tension of the group, which is not surprising. He can be so incredibly laid back about life, but when he does get wound up…. It is like an exploded spring. I can only try to not make things worse in that case. Fortunately, it only lasted for dressage on Friday. He was super cool for both SJ and XC, and didn’t really put a foot wrong. Actually, he felt the most relaxed at the base of the oxers as he ever has! He is definitely ready to return to prelim at Fresno.
Toby was super! It was my first competition on him, so I learned a lot about how performs in the show situation. He got super duper sensitive to my leg aids as soon as I entered the dressage arena, but not in a bad way. I just had to be careful to not overdo an aid. He had a good score of 31 that put him in the ribbons. I’m looking forward to moving him up to Training level at Fresno, because both SJ and XC were simple in that sense. He will actually be more impressive with a bigger jump in front of him. He ended up in 6th place overall, very respectable. The most fun part of riding him is his fan appeal! Everywhere I went with him, someone would comment on how cute and pleasant his expression is. He has curb appeal!
Letty had a great weekend with both Archie and Panda. Both horses showed huge improvement from last year, all due to the fantastic steps her riding has taken over the winter. She has been learning and incorporating really important principles for the last few months, and it was especially cool to watch her apply them in the show situation. Panda finished on his dressage score and 6th place overall, and Archie was 7th place. Last year both horses gave Letty grief at the first jump on XC, in similar ways. But not this year! She kept both horses forward and obedient, which is especially difficult on Panda!
At the moment, Moxee and I are sitting in Vanna while she gets new back tires. Apparently, the 13 year old tires (gasp!) have welded themselves onto the hubs and many sledge hammers are being employed. I hope the repairs get finished in time for us to have our home back to sleep in!