There must have been something in the water for the Sitton's this weekend.
For the few people in the US who did not hear my high praise for my horse as I came through the finish flags, I'll just have to fill you in on how stellar my Diddy-man was this weekend.
He had me a bit concerned, as he wouldn't eat his grain, and was just behaving way too well in general -- and for anyone who's been around P, you know that if he's behaving, he's probably not feeling well. He would eat his hay and graze just fine, but just no grain (until right before we left, but I'll get into that story in just a bit).
Anyway, being the concerned mother that I am, I was fully prepared to withdraw or retire at any moment that he did not feel up to the task at hand. We warmed up for our dressage and he was quite nice, but I thought we were a bit outclassed. Don't get me wrong, P give a great presence, but there were some REALLY nice horses in our division. Really nice. Diddy finished the warm-up, felt nice and swing-y and we trotted out of the covered, over to our dressage ring, and quickly discovered that the top of the footing was frozen. UGH. "Pony is not going to like this." P remained workmanlike, and I ended knowing there was a lot more we could have given. I told myself that there was no where to go but up when you start in last, and I continued out to walk the XC course.
Passing by the Sec. on the way back, I scanned the results from the bottom up, not seeing my name by the time I got up to the middle of the back, I was disheartened to think they hadn't finished scoring the whole division -- but low and behold, there my name was, sitting in 2nd!
Still worried about the pony's health, I warmed up for the jumping phases, acutely aware of every step, in case he wasn't feeling 100%. He launched around the warm-up... and then around the course. I about fell off during the ride when I heard Denny Emerson say "that's a nice jumping horse" from the sidelines.
My life was compete. :)
But it was on to XC. For some reason, after jumping the naturals in warm-up, I felt like I was sitting on a grown-up horse. Butterflies that usually start practicing cartwheels in my stomach weren't really givin' it all they had today because my horse felt.... awesome.
And awesome he was -- he came out of the startbox like his tail was on fire (in a good way), and rocked the entire course. I changed my gallop position a little bit so I was rode closer to him (for as big and bad as he wants to seem, I think he's got some poultry in his pedigree), and he finished in stellar form -- faster then he ever has gone, and I never once felt like I had to push him.
And just as was coming off course, John called my mom (their own little routine, so everyone knows I'm ok), and she let him know my baby (21) brother had just hit a homerun!!!! What a good day for the Sitton kids!
Hopefully the show photographs will be up soon, but here is one that friend/fellow eventer/volunteer extraordinaire, Patricia Roberts (of Fenridge Farm) took over the Trakhener.