Ah, the rolling hills of Virginia -- a beautiful setting for the Virginia Horse Trials.
P-man and I rolled into the Horse Center after 5 hours of uneventful travel, ready for a rest and a hack. P-man looked to have settled in well to his new surroundings and acquired his new 'weekend' friends - my friend Emily's connemara pony, Toby and her mother beautiful OTTB.
Saturday morning dawned with the promise of it being a very LONG day - 9:00am dressage time, 4:50pm cross country and poor Emily didn't jump until 7:28pm.
With a quick stretch by my good friend (and roommate for the weekend), Tina -- P-man was prepped for dressage. He blew me away in warm-up -- so soft and supple yet in front of my leg. We shared the warmup with noted names like Kelly Temple and Karen O'Connor and didn't even stick out like a sore thumb!
But then P-man realized that from his dressage ring you could see the whole world (aka - we were on the edge of a hill) and that he needed to concentrate intensly on everything else but me! Lowest dressage score of our career with a 37.9. Nice, eh?
A brisk walk of my cross country course and I was a bit taken aback. Fence 4 was a bank-up > 2 strides > log off a bank > bending line to a hedge... we've never done a log off a bank for sure! Fence 7 was a bounce bank up a hill -- AH! But P-man put on his big-boy pants (minus a brief discusion coming out of the start box), and ran around clean (with some time penalties - with our lousy dressage score I was not pushing him at all). He definitely had some steam left in the tank when we crossed the finish line, and I think he felt like he had just gotten in a rythm!
Sunday morning saw tight legs and a fresh P-man. Another stretch session by Tina, and out to warmup we went. The warm-up fences were still set for Prelim, but P-man didn't care - he flew over every one with room to spare. I changed his bit right before I got on, and was happy with how he responded. Our course was in the huge colliseum and I was worried about how he'd handle all that, but he just jumped extra big over everything - minus a slight rub on #2. I shut him down a bit too much into some of them with the extra stopping power of the new bit, but he immediately stepped up off my leg and made it work.
Overall, I was sooooo happy with him. Excited about Lumber River in 2 weeks!!!