Sunday I was up bright and early to get ready, well not bright. I was again bathing a horse by a lightbulb. Mia wasn't happy about a bath and wiggled a lot until she realized I would let her eat grass if she stood still. Being as food motivated as she was, it didn't take her long to figure this out and our bath went well enough. I brought her in to braid as the sun was coming up and Mia was bored. She moved forward. She moved back. She moved away from me. She put her head down. She put her head up. I spent over an hour braiding (or trying to) and I never even finished! At the 75 minute mark, RB4 showed up and held her still while I tied up some of the braids, then and we had to wrap and load her up. We finished her forelock at the show, it took almost 1.5 hours to braid the mare. Grrr!!!!
Thankfully the rest of the day went much better. I got changed while RB4 tacked Mia up and we went into warmup. The grass was super wet so they were thankfully letting everyone warm up in the sand. Mia was really good, like really, really good! Nice and quiet in the bridle, prompt with transitions and not fussy at all! Apparently dressage and running her cross country the day before so she was tired and agreeable was a great idea. We finally went into the ring and showed our stuff. Our first circle could have used a little more bend but was very consistent. Our canter was nice (!!) though our free walk wasn't great, she had a good walk but wasn't consistent in her stretch down. Our trot was nice and balanced, her right canter was a little quicker than I hoped but it is her bad direction so not unexpected. Our final trot down centerline was a little wobbly and she wasn't square, but for our first BN test I was very happy! We headed back to the trailer to wait 2 hours for cross country.
About 45 minutes prior to cross country, RB4 and I meandered over to see the scores. Yep, there was our name, yep there was Mia, OMG our score was a 35.8!! OMG we are in 3rd place!! Not only did we have all 6's and 7's, we even got an 8 on our medium walk. An 8!!!! The judges comments said that she needed a little more bend, could reach more in the walk but she was prompt, balanced (4 times!) and "very accurate"! The judge said "scores will greatly improve with more suppleness through her topline" and we were "headed in right direction". Yay!!!
We tacked up 30 minutes prior to cross country, I wanted to give her plenty of time to be spooky, excited or weird during warmup but I was nervous for nothing. Mia was a super chill mare and was practically snoozing as everyone was running around in the warmup ring. The exact opposite from what I expected! I let her stand around until we were 3 horses from our go time and then pushed her over the crossrail,then vertical and she was awesome. I bopped her over the oxer and she knocked a rail down. RB4 was right there and set it back up, I gave Mia a nice smack with the crop and then she sailed over it with no issues for 3 times so we walked over to the cross country warmup fence. It was a BN barn but we had never jumped it before. Mia didn't get her striding right and banged her leg pretty hard on it as we went over but she went over without stopping or refusing. I set her up to it a second time and this time I think I saw her knees as we sailed over it, she did NOT want to do that again!
It was finally our time, after watching the previous horse freak going into the start box and have to be hand walked in, Mia decided it was a great place to nap lol. I gave her a nudge 10 seconds out and tried to wake her up as we started out. She headed to fence one and while she weaved approaching the jump, she went over it. I made a sharp turn to the right so I had plenty of time to be straight for 2 since we had issues yesterday and she was again a little wiggly and jumped 2 at an angle but was clear. Yay! Jump 3 was easy and 4 went by with me barely knowing she jumped anything. Jump 5 was a roll top into the woods and she got the striding wrong and hit her legs as we went over but was clear. At this point we were barely at a minute and I had to burn up a lot of time so we trotted through the woods to fence 6, trotted very slowly but avoided the willful delay penalty haha!
Fence 6 was on the top of a hill and the stride immediately following the landing was on a hill, Mia LOVED that jump on Saturday and today was no exception. She really seemed to enjoy being able to run down the hill after landing, silly horse. Jump 7 was an ascending oxer which posed no problem. Jump 8 wasn't an issue but right before 8 was a truck holding the volunteers. Mia thought we should pay attention to them more and I had to tug on her to remind her to look for a jump!! We trotted slowly down a small hill to get to 9 and saw we still had over a minute to burn up, damn! If I finished RIGHT NOW I would be too fast. We went over 9 and slowly trotted to 10. Even though we were trotting slowly, it did not help her steering and she was SO wiggly and drifted all over the place. 10 was uneventful and we trotted over to the bank up to the water. On Saturday she tried to jump over the water, again almost helping me fall off. This time I sat way up and back and Mia trotted into the water like she never thought to do anything different. Geez mare. We cantered through the water but trotted over to 13. 13 was a max height/width table so I gave her a good boot into a canter before the jump and she was perfect. 14 was a stadium oxer which posed no problem and we approached the final jump. 15 was a vertical that sat on the top of a hill, you had to jump up hill to get over it. Mia was pretty tired at this point and wasn't careful, she knocked the top rail of 15 off as we went over it and cantered into the finish 15 seconds before optimum time.
I was really disappointed about the rail but was SO happy with her behavior. She was obviously very green but she handled all that I threw at her with such maturity, regardless of the placing the show was a success! Not to worry though, even with pulling a rail she still placed 3rd out of 9. And if she hadn't pulled a rail? She would have placed 2nd. OMG that is awesome! Mia got a good rubdown with liniment and then some poultice, she will now have a good week off. Her next show won't be until the end of October, I am excited to see how she progresses!