With the craziness that has been the life of Cassidy Sitton I've had a tough time absorbing the fact that my big baby horse was going to his first prelim. I did all the trots, all the flats, all the jump lessons and gallops, but I'd also thrown in in the pasture sweaty a couple of times and spent hours in the dark, hanging out with him by the light of the yard pole, because that was the only time I had during the day.
About a week ago, a fellow eventer (who also was moving a horse up at the same show), asked "so, do you think you're ready?". All I could say was that my horse was flatting well, jumping well, and felt like he was handling the heat pretty darned well... I guess you really don't know other then that until you cross the finish line.
The weekend started great, with Momma Sitton coming out to keep me company and be an amazing groom. We arrived on grounds fairly late Friday (after a morning of riding other horses, of course), and mom was given the job of settling in the star of the show while I took a look at the cross country course.
And I thought it looked very big, but very doable, especially with the new-found Prophet I've been sitting on this year! Did I say that the course looked big? It looked big.
P was fairly workmanlike for the dressage the next morning. I was a bit disappointed with how we were scored, but we ended up 4th behind 3 horses that moved better then P will EVER move! :) I was ok with that.
With suprisingly little nerves, I readed my boy for the XC phase, and began the walk over. I had a brief teary moment, all alone, walking through the field where P and I had a little discussion about how he was the only horse I wanted to be sitting on that very moment, and how proud I was of him. After the mushiness subsided, we got down to work warming up. Our favorite start-box man reminded me for the 100th time that because I was blonde, I needed to remember that the "red was on my other right" and off Prophet exploded out of the box. He jumped number one and was looking for the next flags. Over fence 2, he realized that this was a whole 'nother ball game, and did a quick double pump in the air. I didn't realize the line I'd planned for 3 took me straight into a branch over the fence, so after a mid-air collision, we landed and proceeded to jump HUGE tables. P continued to grow up and learn something at every question. His confidence kept growing and he just blew me away! I really let him slow down about 1/2 way thru as the heat was getting to both of us, and my priority was to come some clean and safe, so we ended with about 14 time penalties.
I was so happy crossing the last fence that I ended up trotting over the finish line and taking an easy jump off... about half way down I realized that my air vest was still attached to my saddle! Picture me hanging onto my saddle and walking on my tip toes saying "whoa Prophet, whoa Prophet" while trying to undo my buckle before the darned thing exploded. Mission completed, I lead my perfect pony back to the barn for a long day of pampering!
Sunday morning broke after a night of pouring rain. He jumped fantastic in warm-up, and really actually jumped fantastic in the ring, but a combination of the footing and fatigue led to us giving 3 rails rubs and those 3 came down. He really was spectacular though, all weekend, and I'm very fortunate to be the monkey who gets to sit on his back everyday.
I do have to thank everyone who made this happen. All my supporters, sponsors, clients and friends - hang on, cause it's going to be a crazy ride thru the next couple of seasons!!!