Tango and I did a Novice horse trial this weekend. We absolutely, unequivocally, no questions asked won our division. One could even say that we dominated.
It would be acceptable to ask yourself: did you dominate due to superior training, talent, and performance? Or, alternatively, did you dominate due to being the only rider in the division?
Alright. The truth is out. We won because we were the only horse/rider pair in the division.
We had a hell of a good time though.
Dressage: we did NOT have enough warm up time to get him totally on my aids. I maybe sat on him for seven minutes before we went in for our test. As a result he was a bit stiff, a little looky, and I hadn't remembered to shorten my reins up.
|Photos thanks to Olivia! THANK YOU :)|
Honestly looking at these photos there's so much I want to change: my mind was not in the game. Not that we put a terrible ride in, but I memorized my test like an hour before I rode it and I didn't really take the time to plan how I was going to ride it. Kat and her Lessee were having some trouble and my mind was 100% on that.
OH WELL WE STILL WERE IN FIRST AFTER DRESSAGE SO WHO CARES
I was just overflowing with happiness. Yeah, we definitely should have destroyed that jump we hit, but he felt really good. I loved it. I had FUN. I think that's what you're supposed to have with horses but sometimes I forget.
I was deeply distressed because it turned out that something had spilled ALL OVER my vest and I smelled like watermelon-flavored vinegar. It was terrible. I felt like I couldn't breathe.
We hustled over to the course because it seemed like they might just let me go early, but then we did end up having to wait a bit. Maybe a good thing, as I slowly acclimated to the putrid stench of myself.
And then, she counted down, and sent us on our way. I love those moments, and when we opened up to the canter...
Guys. This horse is a rock star. There were a few questions I felt he'd struggle with and I forgot to photograph but you'll just have to take my word for it, and he flew over them. The ONLY thing we had a hard time with was a funny sunken road-type jump where you jumped down, had one stride, and jumped back out. It was off a hard turn and Tango was surprised by it and we sort of flubbed to a halt.
These are the days that make you fall in love with horses all over again, when their humor and spirit infect you with buoyancy. When it feels easy, when it feels like a game. When you glance in the rear view mirror and see their ears in the trailer and your chest aches a little because of how full of the days experiences you are.