Link to Prophet's pics from the weekend
Ah, the first event of the season always puts a few butterflies in my stomach. No matter how many jumps we jump, how many circles in the arena we do, how many times I tell myself things are fine - it's not until I actually cross that final finish line for show jumping that I know if I prepared enough after the winter.
For this event, I figured it was now or never with the Diddy - I went ahead and entered in the Prelim, as we've done training so many times, and had several successful Prelim runs last year. We did our gallops, we did our lessons, and he felt good to go.
First off, can I say how much fun it is to go spend the weekend with my best friend? Although I had a student there competing (more on her in a second!), for the most part it was just me and my main P-man. He tried very hard in the dressage, although he and I are still trying to figure out some new tools we've acquired through our lessons with Becky Blikslager, so we had a few notable bobbles, landing us around the middle of the pack.
Cross Country was a blast. It was a fairly gallop-y course, with a few good questions (and lots of BIG tables in typical CHP style). 5ab was a bank bounce to a roll top, and 7abc was a skinny, HUGE downbank, hard left to another skinny. There was also a sizable trekhener at 19 that was new. Enough to make me a little jittery once we were in the box, hearing the familiar 10, 9, 8....... but not enough to think that my horse wasn't up to the task at hand. Prophet seriously rocked the course, and finished feeling like he'd just gotten warmed up. I on the other hand need to do some serious P90x or something, ugh....
We did come away with several time faults, but really more because I was taking a few extra tugs before everything, making sure we came away with a confident, clean run.
Sunday morning came (after night two of sleeping in my trailer - this time with a thermal sleeping bag so I wouldn't freeze again), and Prophet was jumping out of his skin! Last year, he always felt a bit flat and tired when we Show Jumped after XC, but this time he was full of bounce! He jumped a fantastic course for me, smooth, out of rhythm, and I think Melissa Jones-Sarle would have been proud. What she wouldn't have been so proud of was me opening up too early over a sizeable square oxer, cause P to graze the back rail with a hind.
Oh well, I'll take my time penalties (XC), and 4 jump faults (SJ) and improve upon them next time.... but for now I have a CCI* qualified pony who is awfully proud of himself! He had a bit of a light week following the event (his next event isn't until the end of April), and I sure do wish school was out so I could put some students up to hack him out - it's not very fun when he's this fit!
My student who also ran at the event, Jennifer Lewis, had a fantastic weekend, finishing her first recognized Beginner Novice on her dressage score!!!!!! I'm so impressed with the progress Jenn's made with this mare (Jane) and can't wait to watch them grow together!
This weekend is Nik's first event (the Beginner Novice at TTC!), and the rest of the guys get to have a bit of down time from traveling.
Until next time - Kick on!