It's with great mixed emotion that I write this entry. Being Monday, there's always some feeling of the "Mondays" but this weekend was so filled with ups and downs that I feel as if my brain hasn't stopped spinning.
First there is Lumber River Horse Trials...
Saturday morning started with me being blonde and not setting my alarm properly... hello to waking up an hour and a half late! P-man and I jumped in the trailer and Black Beauty (my trusty 1998 Chevy Z-71) flew down to Southern Pines with time to spare. Dressage was great. Prophet rode exactly the test I wanted out of him - relaxed, correct and listening. Yes, he could have been more uphill and engaged, but after then tense test at VAHT, I really wanted him to take a breathe in the sandbox, and that's what he did. Good enough for a respectable 32.5.
Stadium was nothing much to look at -- bad for a horse that gets easy put-off when he thinks things are 'below' him. We cranked up the warm-up fences, he jumped like a million bucks, and then got a bit lazy in the ring, taking the very last rail. He made strides and went for all the jumps though, so I couldn't fault him too much - the jumps just needed to be bigger!
And then there was XC...
Since he skipped around VAHT quite pleasantly, I'd had it in my mind that I needed to change my XC ride a bit on him. Rather then setting up and 'showjumping' every jump (which lets him keep his eye on it longer), I decided he needed to grow up a bit and GALLOP with a change in balance to get to the fence. He started off spectacular... could not have had a better first 1/2 of the course. I even gave Stephen and crew a "WEEE" as we galloped by them. I was having a blast, P was having a blast... BUT
I could tell that we were playing a very fine line between big, bold, brave Prophet, and "this is kind of scaring the s**t out of me" Prophet. He felt like had just really kicked his boldness into high gear when a down bank caught him by surprise, hurting his ego just a bit. He got flustered, but after trotting the trakaner (talk about praying over the top of a jump :) ) and galloping through a couple of other complexes/jumps, I thought he had his rhythm back. The water complex -- not our element of the water -- but just the complex as a whole proved to be too much to look at for the newly formed 'brave' horse. After a bit of a discussion, we got through 1/2 of it. I THOUGHT I tipped my hat for a retirement, but the jump judges saw it a bit differently and gave us the big "E".
None the less, I was really proud of him and now have some homework to work on through the summer... they're all stepping stones to bigger and better things.
I've been really long winded here, But bear with me for the 'perspective' part of this tale... I'll make it quick.
Yesterday I had a new student come out for a lesson who has 'selective mutism' (sp?). Can I just say how happy it made me that by the end of the lesson she was talking and laughing, even though it was her first time at the farm, meeting me, and riding a horse instead of a pony! Her mom was so excited about the lesson program we have out there, and I'm so happy to share horses with someone who gets sooo much out of them.
They are beautiful, special animals that teach us something everyday....