Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Not so Difficult Run, but a difficult drive!

Ugh, I know I've been horrible about updating... just something about being apprehensive makes me dread putting things 'down on paper', or I guess it's 'out in cyberspace'. 

Anyway, there really anything specific to be apprehensive about, just the fact that I was worried that P's success at his first Prelim might have been a fluke and that we weren't prepared or ready or whatever to tackle it again.  Thanks mom, for making me a worry wart about anything and everything! :)

I've also been so busy though, that I didn't really have time to A) worry as much as I probably could have and B) I did have time to worry that with my busy schedule, that there was probably no way in heck that I'd properly prepared my horse to start off the Fall season yet.

So with all the worrying going on, I headed up the road last Friday to spend the night with a long-time friend in Middleburg, VA.  Prophet settled nicely in his paddock while Dana and I enjoyed good company and a glass of wine on her beautiful cabin porch.  It was amazingly peaceful, but I knew that 5:30 wake-up call was going to come wicked early.

Now, although I would never want to live in Northern Virginia again, I do think that it's one of the most beautiful places to visit.  As I made my way from Middleburg toward Frying Pan Park down 50, I was treated to fog-kissed scenery, which made waking up so early manageable.

I'd made the decision to change Prophet's bit for Dressage as he sometimes just needs a bit of a change to stay fresh.  Usually a change is a good thing... this time, not so much.  With his rubber mullen mouth in place, he proceeded to drag me places rather then staying soft and rideable.  Even so, we managed an OK test with everything from a 4 (leg yield) to an 8 (free walk).  A score of 36 and change landed us mid-pack in a field of about 17.

Shortly after dressage, my great friend, and soon to be leaving the US for her home country of 'Canaydea', Mel, arrived and we went out to trek around the XC.  The first part of the course was over dreadfully terrible gravel footing, and seeing as I hadn't even made up my mind whether to not go out on course, or maybe just pull up after P got a few good fences in, I honestly felt like there was no need to walk the rest of it.  But we did, and the footing did get better from there on out.  It wasn't a difficult course, but had a couple of questions that I was keen to know how P would handle.

Show Jumping was in the indoor and P put in a stellar round - saving by butt twice - and being an all around professional through the entire course.  He pulled off a double clear round, and was one of only two horses to do so!  Thanks to his wonderful efforts, we moved up to 3rd place!

Immediately we headed out to wait our turn in the start box.... and here's where the apprehension kicked in.  What was he going to be like?  Was he going to be timid after the BIG course at Carolina Horse Park, or was he going to be a bigger, better horse because of it?  Didn't really have time to think about it to much since before to long we were being told "have a nice ride!".

P and I picked our way around that course like an old married couple at Kroger.  We were a bit slow most of the time, VERY slow sometimes, had a few familiar discussions, but all together, we knew each other so well that it felt easy. Once I got about 3/4 of the way thru, I knew I could pull up, but figured I might as well canter across the finish line and get in our second qualifying score.  As we cooled him out, I slowly came to the realization that my baby had literally just loped his way around a Preliminary course and made it feel easy!!!! Pretty darned cool feeling!

I also slowly came to the realization that I'd completely ripped out the knee patch on my oldest and fondest pair of show breeches.... a pair that my mom showed in when I was about 10 years old, and I inherited when I was in high school. Definitely made me a bit sad!

Once we got P cooled, and everything packed, I jumped in the truck, ready to tackle the 5 hour trip home.  Figuring I was leaving at 1 pm, I estimated my arrival back in Raleigh at 6pm -- just in time to get everything settled and enjoy dinner with J-Bomb.  Did I say 5 hour drive?  Apparently I meant 7.5 hour drive with wicked traffic everywhere I turned. 

P and I both unloaded back at Raleigh a bit stiff, but by Sunday morning he looked much better (although I was still a bit stiff).  He's had two well-deserved days off now and will go on a stretching hack this evening. 

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