After a dismal xc session several weeks ago, I brought TWH to a second xc schooling session the day after Mia's clinic. If he was still jumping spectacularly crappy, I would bump him down to Beginner Novice for the upcoming show. We got there and went over a ton of small, confidence building starter jumps before trying a beginner novice jump and he was great. After about 2 dozen jumps I put him towards a novice jump and he was great, not at all like he was at the last session where I shook his confidence. Yay, time to try showing novice!
One of the biggest downsides of moving up a level is that you ride in the morning. That means you have to get up OMG early to make it and I really don't prefer that as I really enjoy sleeping! On Friday I woke up at 5a to start getting ready as I had to also work that day. I gased up the truck, check the air in the tires, filled hay nets, packed the truck and trailer and the coolwer and went to work. After work I bathed and clipped TWH and was actually able to take a shower and still be in bed by 8p but boy was I tired. It is hard work getting it all done in a day! Two benedryl's ensured I fell asleep while the sun was still out but 4a still came awfully damn early. Thankfully the TWH stayed clean in his stall and didn't need a 2nd bath so after some last minute details being attended to, RB4 and I made the 1.5 hour drive to the show.
I was quite nervous of this show for many reasons. It was the first of the season. We didn't get a schooling show to 'warm up' on. We moved up a level. Neither of us had ever been to this facility before, so far TWH and I have always schooled the jumps before competition in some fashion. We also had a 1.5 hr drive to get there, what was I thinking!?! We made it to the show grounds in plenty of time however and despite almost forgetting my number (Thanks RB4!!!), we made it to the dressage warmup. TWH was nicely forward and relaxed however there was plenty of chaos as there were 2 rings going and no ring steward and things were behind. Great! I warmed up and then hung around waiting. When my division finally started, I warmed up some more but gave him another rest as there was still another 15 mins before our ride. When the gal before us entered the ring, I went for one last warm up lap. TWH gave me the wrong lead in the canter and out of habit I booted him and immediately regretted it. Why did I do that?!? TWH was suddenly heavy and nervous. He relies heavily on the riders confidence and approval and I had just told him he was a bad horse. What a bad rider!! At home he would need a good 5-10 mins to settle back down and get his bearings back together and I had only 2. Ugh! I tried to get him back to confident and relaxed and just could not.
The dressage test went okay, not spectacular but not too bad. He was a little heavy and really didn't want to bend much to the right. Finally coming down the last center line he showed me his frustration as he clearly stepped his haunches left through the halt. Ugh! With dressage over, we went back to the trailer and hung out for cross country.