TWH's second horse trial at the Novice level is finally in the books. There were some up times, some down times and a moment of what da? But overall the day was nice. Saturday I walked the XC course and was a little dismayed to see it was actually LONGER than the first HT of the year, the show bill had said it was a little less. And that optimum time was almost 6 mins?? Oh boy, we had only been doing canter/two point sets up to 5 minutes, I hoped we had it in us!
Time ran out on Saturday and so TWH didn't get a bath but he wasn't super dirty so nice and early (no, not BRIGHT and early) at 4a I was up and outside giving TWH a bath. I use that term loosely as I copped out and used the EZ All Total Body Wash stuff instead of giving him a full on bath. Hey, it was FOUR AM, you can't judge me! Thankfully he still wasn't super dirty to start with and cleaned up well enough. I wrapped him up just in time for my super awesome friend RB4 came at 515a to head out. I love that she is so willing to come to my horse shows with me, even when we have to get up so damn early! Before the sun rises, yep it is that early.
We made it to the showgrounds without issue, got tacked up and went over to the dressage ring with a good 20 mins before our ride time. TWH wasn't bending much which is an evasion he has been toying with the past few months, but his gaits were nice and after some transitions, he was giving them to me nicely as well. The whistle rang and we went into the ring, TWH was nice and straight up the centerline and after we finished our circle, I ALMOST forgot our pattern. As in I was still going straight when I was supposed to turn, if I hadn't remembered at the last fricken second, we would have been called off course in 2 steps. I couldn't believe I almost forgot our damn test SMH. The test actually rode pretty well I thought, he fought me a little in the last canter/trot transition and was a good bit heavier in my hand than he should/could have been however there was no pacing at all and he was nice and square in our halt. Success!
We had a 2.5 hour break until our next ride, they were doing stadium second followed immediately by cross country 20 minutes later. Not a lot of time! Right before stadium they posted the dressage scores, I don't like to know the placing before xc because I think it helps reduce nerves but they were RIGHT there so I just couldn't help it. I walked over and I blinked. And blinked again. I checked and double checked to make sure I was looking at the right line. Yes, apparently I came in dead last after dressage with a score 42. Dead. Last. 11th place.
To say it took the wind out of my sails was an understatement, I was crushed. I knew we didn't have a low 30's test but I expected a mid to upper 30's test. Both RB4 and I thought that test was much better than our previous test and we had both seen riders ride a worse test while I was warming up. I had no idea how they came up with the score but it made me not care about jumping so much. Finally I tacked up and decided hey, what did I have to lose? We always go clear, what am I going to do, fight for last place? No, I need to ride and do what I can. With that in mind we headed over to the stadium course.