There's only one word that can describe this weekend, and it's "YAY!!!"
Not gonna lie... I definitely came into this weekend feeling a bit of apprehension. 3 long days in Southern Pines, lots of money spent that wasn't necessarily in my budget (stalling, hotel, etc...), and XC wasn't until Sunday for me, so I was worried that in a split second, it could all come to a sliding halt (literally).
Now I'm not one that gets super, super worried about stuff (usually), but after P-man's disappointing water experience at Lumber River, I couldn't help but have those disappointing thoughts lingering in my brain. I tried hard to visualize myself coming across the finish line full of smiles, to push the negativity away and focus on the positive - which was a struggle I can assure you!
Friday went very well. My good friend Kristin trusted me with her 13 year old daughter, Sarah, and let her come with me to serve as my slave! Prophet appeared just a bit dull after his trailer ride, so we spent a bit of time grazing him, and letting him brighten back up. He felt very good for warm-up, and performed a very nice dressage test. There were a few bobbles, but parts that felt great! I was left a bit disappointed with our score of 35.8, but that left us in a 3-way tie for 4th at the end of day one.
I had a whole new horse for show jumping, and it I think it may take me a bit to learn to ride the new jumping beast! I've worked really hard to get him to 'take' me to the fences, and TAKE me he did! He jumped like a million bucks, easily made all the strides and was balanced and rideable, even while being strong. I got several compliments on the way out of the arena - not something that happens very often! He was one of a handful of double clear rides, which left us alone in 4th.
Sarah went home with her mom after show jumping which left me alone Saturday night where I did not sleep well, and spent ALOT of time riding the XC course in my head - Again, this worrying thing is NOT characteristic. The majority of the difficult questions were early on in the course, and I just kept riding and riding and riding them over and over and over from my very cold hotel room!
Apparently I didn't need to though! Prophet jumped around like a super star, minus one discussion about galloping away from the horses in warm-up. It was a treat to ride him to all the fences, although we need to work on our gallops between them, as we were about 45 seconds over time!! After watching the video, I realize that he just gets short and choppy between the jumps until I take a hold, and then he engages his back and uses himself. I just need to develop that engaged back between the jumps!! At this level, I've never really "gone" for time anyway, as I'm more concerned about him being confident and learning something throughout the course. Maybe I'll throw a couple kicks in there this weekend at Paradise HT and see where we can go!
His new Nike's get put on tomorrow, and then I'll try to work on the galloping stretch on Wednesday morning and see where we end up!
I have a busy week of teaching and re-packing the trailer before leaving Friday afternoon for Aiken. Will post the video and pics shortly!
Until then, RIDE FORWARD!!