(it's a minor miracle that there's much media at all, considering I expected to be alone at the show. It was SO gratifying that a young rider and her mother came for the jumping tho - it really kind of made my day, actually. No video for dressage, alas, but we'll make do, right?)
|mare is still adorable despite a wonky braid and not-quite-the-right-shape dressage pad|
|the cracks in my phone screen make this selfie look whimsical instead of just weird, right?? lol|
|the dressage ring where we rode our test... and these pics were taken HOURS afterward, when the sun and a nice breeze had helped dry things up|
|the area around A was seriously torn up too. plus you can kinda see that the center of the ring was littered with puddles as well|
But whatever, oh well. Our entire split ran in the same ring for the same judge, so it was an equal playing field anyway.
|good mare's got sand in her pants after dressage|
|literally. sand EVERYWHERE|
|caked on to my saddle?!? how does that even happen in a BN dressage test?|
|and all over my boots too...|
But really Isabel was trying to be good, as was I. And that 6 for our right lead canter depart (which comes right after the HXF diagonal) is evidence of how hard we were working. Our transitions are typically 5.5s, especially to the right. And given how sloppy A was and coming out of the sharp turn from the diagonal... well, all I can say is Isabel was a good mare. I was also particularly pleased with our free walk and had hoped to see that score a little higher... but all in all I thought the test was scored quite fairly.
Phew ok... on to the next phase! We had just about 2 hours between dressage and stadium, wherein Isabel got her first taste of being left alone on the trailer while I walked my courses. I was SUPER nervous about her having a meltdown that would then set off the entire stadium warm up area (since it was right behind my trailer...) but imagine my surprise when I came back to find her napping peacefully! Good mare!!
The stadium course was, eh... not my favorite. But perhaps for reasons that may surprise you. The fences all looked fine height-wise, only a handful were maxed out. And the course was SUPER easy to remember - in fact I never saw a map and just learned it from one walk.
|I don't remember fence 1 being this uneven, so I was probably just holding the camera weird|
|this was maybe our second worst jumping effort in the course, and it really was fine. just bad enough to kick me into gear haha|
|fence 2 toward the gate|
|fence 3 away from gate|
|fence 4 toward gate|
|Isabel and I clicked pretty immediately into a nice forward and mostly uphill-ish gear, finding pretty good distances to each fence|
|our distance to fence 5 was tight-ish, but still came nicely out of stride. it's funny tho - and you'll see it in the video - Isabel actually stepped *on* the flowers lol, AND rubbed a rail... but thankfully it stayed up|
|fence 6 across the center was ripe for a slice|
|which naturally we did - tho I cut it pretty close to the standard... would have sucked to take down a jump with my own foot rather than one of isabel's!|
|fence 7 was on a nice bend off the short end|
|we like short bendy approaches - easier to adjust!|
|whereas fence 8 was off a long straight approach - NOT my favorite. plus I lost a stirrup on the way (you'll see in the video - I'm working pretty hard to get the canter from Isabel, and still haven't figured out how to do this *quietly* - and let's just not talk at all about my crazy busy hands, it's a work in progress! - ... so yea, all my moving and shaking led to a lost stirrup)|
|and we ended up getting just flat enough for Isabel to jusssst barely touch the rail... which then took its sweet time deciding whether to fall... it fell tho, boo!, but the penalties ended up not making a difference in the final placings|
|but I was bummed anyway and got Isabel up and ahead of me in no uncertain terms on our way to fence 9|
|hard to tell from this photo, but 9 was a mini fan jump - one standard on the right, two on the left. smarter riders would choose to jump the narrower right side|
|but we like to live dangerously and jumped the left. nbd. we finished with just the one rail from fence 8!|
So then it was a quick pit stop at the trailer to grab my forgotten medical arm band - plus Isabel SLURPED some water - then off to cross country!! Stay tuned for those details tomorrow!