isabel begs me to plz not take her out in public like this
But we managed to snag a parking spot next to my barn mates at the show (one went BN so needed to be there much earlier) - so we could take turns watching each other's horses. And Isabel was her usual calm self, and tied very nicely to the trailer with her hay, water, and grass galore.
It was time to get dressed and tacked pretty much as soon as I was registered, and then off to dressage warm up. The two rings were set up side by side, with tons of open space for warming up. There were approximately 8 billion other horses warming up too (there were ~115 entries total), but the space made this no big deal.
not pictured: all the many many horses warming up
The show was running a little late, so I ended up feeling like I got on too early. But nbd. We spent a TON of time just walking on loose reins. This was interspersed with some trot work, and canter transitions. Isabel was super relaxed and was giving me the nicest work in recent memory. Nothing groundbreaking, no, and we didn't suddenly morph into Totilas. But she was soft and loose.
I was SUPER happy with our test. No pics or videos, but I felt like it was really consistent for us. I made it a point to try and ride every step and not slide into passenger mode. But I also did NOT fight. And Isabel was great.
Our biggest blip was clearly the cross cantering on our left lead circle. Isabel occasionally cross canters, but I can't remember her ever picking up the canter cross firing like that - it's usually when we're turning on the wrong lead or whatever. So I attribute this in part to the grass ring and slight terrain (the ring wasn't really flat, especially in that corner). All the same tho, I was MUCH too slow in correcting it - so I blew two movements. But as far as errors go, this one is pretty easily fixed, and could have bumped our score up to a ~36. Oh well.
The rest of the test is pretty much in line with our current level of training. We need to get rounder and eliminate more tension - which, in turn, will help Isabel move out more freely. Interesting that the collective notes include a remark about lateral suppleness, especially considering our recent bio-mechanics lesson. In any case, I'm happy with it!
We had a loonnnnng break before stadium - esp bc the show continued to run about 20 minutes behind. I spent this time hangin out at the trailers snacking and drinking a TON of soda water. Then it was time to get dressed and head off to stadium and xc.
isabel says: this is nice and all, but can you plz fix my hair???
Our warm up for stadium was quick and simple. We did some trot trot trot on loose-ish reins, cantered a bit here and there, then popped a crossrail and vertical. Didn't bother with the oxer. Isabel was feeling just fine.
my rendering of the course via ms paint
I was actually a little worried about remembering this course - particularly the right turn after 6. There was a whole jumble of fences in the one corner, then lots of long runs and approaches. Interestingly enough - the jumps were actually the same from our last trial - I guess OF helped organize things?
All my pics are stills from the video below, and most are zoomed in too... so the quality isn't great. But hey, it's better than nothing!
Isabel settled in to a really nice rhythm, and we had a decent time finding distances.
As per usual, we were a little tight to a few fences, but no real 'splat' moments (haha that came later on xc). And some of our distances were actually pretty bangin.
The striding down the 7-8 line seemed pretty variable. Some horses got a VERY forward six, and others were getting ugly chips with eight strides. So I decided that Isabel and I would shoot for seven. We were tight into the line, so I landed kicking. It was probably not necessary, tho, and the seven was perfect.
She then cross cantered around the final left turn (as always... sigh) and we nailed jump 9 to cruise through the finish line. Yay Isabel!!
actual video of the course
As much as I would love to say our jumping efforts always look like this or this (ie, forward and jumping out of stride), it's way more common that we get questionably tight distances and inconsistent (and occasionally wild) rhythms.
So I was really pleased with this round, and felt like it was definitely our best jumping at a show to date. This was even sweeter knowing we'd just put in our best-yet dressage test. Up next: cross country!!