Unfortunately the weather has not been wanting to cooperate. It has been about 70 and pouring down rain for the better part of the week. Then, come Thursday it was instantly hot, in the upper 80's and planning on just getting hotter. Lovely.
Thursday I moved Jetta and everything else out to the show grounds. After bickering with Jetta for a good 5 minutes, I finally got her in the temporary stall. She was not impressed with them, but at least there was some knee high grass to munch on.
My brother came up to help me move so after getting Jetta all settled I spend the rest of the day moving furniture. In the evening I went back to check on Jetta and took her for a walk around the grounds. She could care less about all the other horses and dressage rings, she just wanted the grass :) I walked the xc course and it seemed to me to be pretty easy to remember (keep in mind that I almost always get lost).
Friday morning I was up bright and too early to go get ready. Our dressage was at 8:20. I got to the show a little later than I had been planning due to forgetting things and having to run back to the house. My mom came out to help me luckily. I got Jetta all tacked up, her braids looked awful after being in overnight, but oh well.
I got on a little after 8 so we had the shortest warm up in history and just went for it. Our test was not what I had been hoping for. Nothing too bad but I was just wanting Jetta to be rounder and softer in some areas. Our free walk was not as stellar as it could have been in my opinion, but we still scored an 8 on it. And I couldn't believe how crooked Jetta decided to halt at the end, though the judge only commented that it was "unbalanced". Overall, not ecstatic about the test. Somehow we still tied for third with a 33. There was a tie for first place as well. I guess that still counts as achieving my goal of placing in the top three for dressage?
|Oh dear, what on earth is my leg doing??|
|Up the centerline|
I had a while to chill before xc. It was getting super hot, into the 90s. I got on Jetta probably a little earlier than necessary to warm up but I wanted to be able to watch people go before me to make sure I was going the right way through things. Between fence 4 and 5 there's a tree line that you have to cross with two different gaps and I didn't know which one you were supposed to go through, but it seemed 50/50 which one people were going through. Jetta started out quite indignant in warm up "I MUST GALLOP!" and I was getting nervous that I might get run away with... Luckily she settled down a bit and when it was our turn, we trotted over the first jump. Here's your blow-by-blow :)
Fence One: Roll Top
This fence looked pretty big on the course walk to me so I was a little leary of it, but Jetta jumped it just fine!
Fence Two: Hazelnut Table
This fence for some reason is a troublesome fence. It's not that scary looking at all, but a few riders had stops at it and I knew Jetta would look hard at it because even though she's jumped it before we've had a refusal at it in the past. And of course she did refuse it. I gave her a big spur and smack with the crop and we hopped over it the second time.
|The dreaded fence - look how tiny it is!|
Fence Three: Red Barn
This fence was no problem, Jetta really likes it and I don't think we've ever had a refusal at it.
Fence Four: Quarter Round
Jetta was a little wiggly to this fence but other than that no problems.
Fence Five: Jump Down
This I was a little worried about. Jetta loves jumping off banks, but for some reason at the little one-day trial she refused this so I made sure to have my leg on to get her over it and she went!
|The back side of the step down|
Fence Six: Log on Hill
This fence I was a little worried about too. It was a tiny log set on a small mound. Or so I thought. The backside of the hill was a lot steeper than I thought it would be so I wasn't sure what Jetta would think when she got to it since we've never schooled it before. She could have cared less, in fact she ignored my request to trot it and cantered right over it!
Fence Seven: Log
I wasn't worried about this fence, the only thing I knew I had to do was keep Jetta to the left where the trees were so she couldn't run out to the right. Turns out Jetta thought it was quite scary and stopped. Bummer. Took it again the second time and galloped through the forest. The gallop stretches are seriously the best part!
Fence Eight: Log
Another log in the forest. This time I kept my leg on really tight, gave her a cluck and a tap with my crop and we cantered right over it and onto the next gallop stretch. Love galloping!
Fence Nine: Ditch
I wasn't too worried about this jump, Jetta seems to find ditches inviting and we even cantered it!
|Little baby ditch|
Fence Ten: Log
This fence was about three strides after the ditch so I kept Jetta straight and over we went.
Fence Eleven: Log Combination
Jetta gave this fence a hard look and really wanted to wiggle away from both of the fences but I was able to keep her from running out to the left.
Fence Twelve: Flower Hut
We've schooled this jump but even so she refused it at the one-day trial. I kept my leg on and she jumped it.
Fence Thirteen: Water
While in schooling Jetta has no problem cantering/jumping into the water, at the one-day she refused the water too so I was worried she wouldn't go in. I needn't have worried though. I lined her up with it so she could see the water from a couple strides away and wrestled her down to a trot. She kind of started at it once she noticed it but then power trotted through it and cantered away. So proud!
|Showing off her power trot - this is what she does when we do endurance rides...|
|Cantering! This may be my favorite shot once I erase the people in the background.|
Fence Fourteen: Coop
Over the coop she was a little sucked back but I kept my leg on.
Fence Fifteen: Ditch with Log
I hate this trakehner. I was none too pleased to see it on course again, but I was hoping that since she jumped it last time we wouldn't have a problem. I lined her up properly and brought her down to a trot and she jumped it perfectly.
|Hey, we almost look like we know how to jump!|
Fence Sixteen: Brush Fence
I was a little worried about this fence. It looked a little big and since we don't have any brush fences to work with at home Jetta often refuses them. I brought her back to a tiny little canter, really kept my leg on and tried to get her straight (she tried to run right) and over we went to the finish line!
It was a whopping 93 degrees during our run, but even so we both managed not to keel over from the heat. Got her back to the stall, hosed her down, wrapped her legs and stuffed my awesome pony with treats. Recap of day two is yet to come...
|Post-xc high. I was SO happy|
Overall I was so, so proud of my girl. Yes, we had two refusals, but that is a huge improvement over the last show where we had four. Best of all, it meant we weren't eliminated! Cue huge grin :] And I didn't get lost either! I seriously almost always get lost but we didn't have a single problem with where to go, thanks to walking it twice this year instead of once (or not at all). We got 11 time penalties plus the 40 for refusals, dropping us from third to ninth. But the fact that we hadn't been eliminated meant so much to me - Jetta is still at the point in her training where she requires you to ride her perfectly. If you don't set her up just right for something, you only have a 25% chance that she'll do it anyways, which is a lot different for me coming off Jazz who would do something 75% of the time even if you set her up awfully for it.
I was getting so discouraged before this event - here I have a talented horse and I was thinking "We're never going to move beyond Beginner Novice!" I was wishing I had an easy little draft cross to push around cross country just because they're so easy, just point and shoot (in my experience, even though conditioning them sucks). This show was a huge boost to our confidence.