Sunday was collectively our best show yet. My clients rode really well, we were tacked up, warmed up, knowing our courses, we just pulled the whole thing off really smoothly as compared to other shows with the lot of us.
Kat was a machine. Even thinking back on the experience makes my heart feel light and chest constrict a little. Where did this horse come from?
|Good god Kate what is happening with your hands. Say it with me now, slowly: release. Re-lease. Re- leaaaassseeee. But check that mare out!!!!|
Kat and I had a few discussions about distances in the 0.70ms because the fences were small enough that she could just LAUNCH herself places and land in relative balance which I was not cool with. What's a half-halt? But we came out of the optimum time class with 74.4 seconds (the optimum time was 74 seconds) and just kind of laughing - we cruised through at a pretty good clip but I managed to take such long paths while we discussed the nebulous half-halt that we rode it in great time. The rider immediately after me rode it in 74.6 with a MUCH more aggressive track but he had this adorable hunter canter going on so we held onto first for that class.
We went in for the speed round and I experienced one of my favorite sensations. The buzzer goes off and I ask for a bit more power to get the horse front of the leg and then half-halt it down a touch before approaching the first fence. That's standard - what's incredible is when the horse responds with that super-coiled, "okay, I'll wait with you." feeling. We rode the speed round in 55 seconds, which I felt was pretty good. We're not balanced enough yet for the crazy inside turns, but I didn't even want to ask for them. I wanted her to have a very good experience.
|GINGER PONY DOES DRESSAGE|
|Just look at Kat's expression. She knows she's incredible.|
Back on Kat for the 0.80s and two more clear rounds - I thought long and hard about adding her to the 0.90s since she'd done so well at that height the day before... but I realize that there will always be more shows and we could end feeling like partners and knowing what an incredible job she'd done or I could push her further and potentially damage that feeling... So I called it a day.
And then I did something stupid: Kat earned champion in the 0.70s and reserve champion in the 0.80s, and I decided I wanted a photo with my horse and all the ribbons. (Ugh, ego, right?) We hung a ribbon on her bridle and she shook her head a lot and tried to bite at the ribbon, so I suggested we just hang the ribbons on the rein.
Kat said HELL NO when one of the ribbons touched her shoulder and started rearing up and spinning around. I tried to dismount smoothly and ended up twisting my knee pretty badly when I landed. (stupid.)
And Miss Diva did admirably. She still didn't put any clean rounds in (silly mare) but gave us a lot of things to work on. She's just so ridiculously lazy over fences that she touches them all the time. I love her calm attitude but very much so want her to sharpen up. We'll get there. Grids! More grids! All the grids!