Horse Shows

VA Horse Trials, Part II

So after finally making the decision to ride (for goodness sakes) and officially making the switch from Trainer B to myself, Leo and I had a most perfect ride around the Virginia Horse Center. It was filled with over crowded arenas, spooky indoors, loose horses, blaring speakers, flapping tents, zooming golf carts, barking dogs, falling jumps…to name just a few stimuli. So why was it perfect? Well, because for how insane everything was, Leo was most decidedly NOT insane.

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I even BRAIDED. Things are getting serious.

The team had 5 horses showing: Trainer B was riding one in BN, one in N, and one in the 3*, another student was riding in the T, and I was the last ride of each day in the Starter. Which normally would drive me crazy, having to sit around all day waiting to go, but in reality I didn’t have even a second to get nervous, as we were running around all day, every day. I walked the 3* XC course (which made me really laugh at my Starter fences), helped in the vet box, tacked/untacked/washed horses, etc…thankfully there was ALWAYS something to do.

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I felt bad for his clashing colors, but the braids had to be protected at all costs

I did manage to pre-ride Leo Saturday morning before our 3:40 dressage time, and despite almost being run into multiple times from multiple angles, and him picking up the wrong lead going right twice (first time in awhile that’s happened), he felt pretty good and I was just happy he was still holding onto his sanity.

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I lost a bunch of weight this past year and all my show stuff was incredibly baggy on me, so last second I bought this Kerrit’s jacket from Riding Warehouse and my BO blinged it out for me 🙂

When it was our turn, we headed up to warmup and Trainer B told me I needed to win the dressage (which made me laugh out loud), and we worked on getting some semblance of a stretch out of him, then headed down the hill and into the dressage arena.

Where Leo immediately went, “Ummm, WUT” and got all tense.

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Leo when we headed into the arena that practically falls  off the edge of a cliff

But other than a bobble right before we went in (and I immediately circled before he spooked), we went in and rode Leo’s 2nd ever dressage test (video has captions w/scores):

The collectives were:

Gaits: 7.0

Impulsion: 6.5

Submission: 6.0

Rider: 7.0

With the final comment: “Be more forward to help solidify a better frame; show more bend.”

For a score of 35.0

I felt his nervousness throughout, but was super happy because umm, hello, he picked up the right lead, we stayed in the arena and I really felt as if I rode the test, rather than  my usual sitting like a passenger, thinking about what was coming up next. So while obvi we wouldn’t win the dressage (there were 19 people in the division), Leo and I had both survived- his 2nd dressage test ever, and my 2nd in over a year.

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Then the texts started coming from friends:

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This broke the news to me
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When I made it sound like I did horrible, I didn’t know our placing!
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Go Leo!

I really didn’t want to know my placing after dressage, and would’ve been happier had we been last, but it was seriously cool to know that despite the tenseness I felt, the judge liked Leo enough to score him as well as she did.

Unfortunately, dressage was all we got to do that day, as both SJ and XC were being run on Sunday, so I got to sit and stew all night about how the only time Leo’s ever done a full jump course was at Windridge with Trainer B, and how I’ve never actually cantered a fence on Leo and the last time we had jumped was a grand total of 3 fences nine days prior…

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17 thoughts on “VA Horse Trials, Part II”

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