L and Henny headed to the wam up arena
Notice all the lovely mud and puddles. It rained pretty much the entire time we were there. We arrived at our barn about 5:30 pm on Friday and got the trailer hooked up. Both horses loaded like pros. Was so impressed with Riva. She had not been on the trailer since last fall when I took her to our trainers for a month. First try - she went up the ramp and stopped, I backed her down and tried again - success! She walked in and stood still while I got the chest bar up and her halter clip on. Hennessy walked right on - normal for him. Locked everything up and away we went :)
Drive was fine - misting rain, but nothing horrible. We pulled in to to HHP about 7:15 pm - unloaded and got the horses settled. I like the barn they were stabled in because there is wire between the stalls and Riva & Henny could see each other. Riva immediately checked out the gelding beside her, which she took a fast liking to and flirted with him every chance she got!
L wanted to try and get a ride in Friday night but as soon as she got him tacked up - the rain really started coming down. Plan B - braid Henny for Sat. I braided his mane, with L as my rubber band assistant. I decided not to braid Riva till morning. We still didn't know if I would get to compete.
By 9 pm, we went tired and hungry and it was still raining. We threw the horses more hay and headed in to our fav pre-show day Mexican restaurant in Edinburgh. Everyone from our barn goes there also - they had all gotten to leave earlier in the day, so by the time we made it to the restaurant, then were finishing up their dinners.
Sat morning - woke up to more rain. Arrived at HHP, got our show packets from the office, and started getting L and Henny ready for their dressage class at 10:15 am.
Here is L and Henny in the lovely, muddy warm up areana.
It pretty much misted rain all day Saturday. Temps were not bad - sometimes it was really humid and warm, Other times, a little cool.
L and Henny did pretty well is dressage - not their highest scores, but decent. This was L's first time competing Beginner Novice dressage test. She remembered the test! Then on to jumping - their favorite.
L and our trainer had walked the jump course earlier, so she had a plan of how to take the jumps. They did great! Best jumping I have seen them do :) L as smiling so big as they finished the course.
No jumping or time faults - yeah! They did not place in the ribbons though, due to the dressage scores. L was a bit sad about that, but proud of how the jumping round went.
Now it was time to see if Riva was sound enough to compete. I had given her Bute as soon as we arrived Sat. morning. And P had walked her around a bit while L warmed up. Both he and my trainer thought she would be fine to compete - even if she was slightly favoring that front right.
I took her to the lovely mud filled warm up arena. Riva hates walking thru puddle at home under saddle so I thought this was pushing it - it was. She was not a happy girl in that warm up. Only 3 other riders were in there and the arena is quite large. She started getting agitaed as soon as we walk in - so in turn, I got tense and was not helping her. L came out to 'coach' me a bit. Helped a lot - she got me to relax, give her some rein, and get her trotting a circle around her both ways. Riva was still holding her head like a giraffe and only half listening. Decided to not keep battling with her and end. I didn't know if she was off on the right front - could not tell with how she was going in the mud.
I really was not feeling at all ready to ride a dressage test after that warmup and we still had plenty of time before my test. I decided to take her to the other warm up arena - which was not muddy - just had a few puddles. It was the warm up for the upper dressage testers to use. We rode down there and only one rider was warming up there. I ask the ring steward it we could hack in it and she said it would be fine.
That was a good decision on my part. Once I started riding Riva in there, she began to relax. I got to ride her in front of a 'scary' judges box, trot her around the outside of the ring and let her look around. She even trotted right thru the puddle! I then rode my test in that arena and she was great! When we hit our final halt at X, she blew out and sighed :) Now, we were ready to compete...but we had about an hour before my test time. I did know she was still off on the right front, though. When I did my trot on the right rein, esp the 20 meter circle to the right. she was bobbing her head a bit. Still, not as bad as it had been.
I decided to skip any further warm up before my test - was NOT taking her back in the horse eating mud arena. When it was close to my test time, I rode her to the warm up - checked in with the ring steward. He said they were about ready for me and to head on over to the show ring - yeah! No waiting!
Once I got to the show ring, I was told to go on in. The ring was set up for 3 tests at a time - I was in the middle one. I took a deep breath, and rode her in. I walked her in front of the judges box, stopped briefly to give my number and say good afternoon and started around the outside of the ring. I had just asked her to trot when they rang the bell that signaled me to enter and begin my test. Ok - guess we were as ready as we were going to be!
I entered at A from a left rein trot - halted at X, and yes she stopped! Asked her to trot and she jumped right into it. By the time we were about half way thru my test, I started to relax a bit and think " we are still in the ring and I am still on her!". I even smiled a few times and enjoyed it! By the time we headed up the centerline for our final halt, I was thrilled! She did not want to stop at X, she was a bit crooked, but I gave her a big pat and lots of good girls. As we were exiting the arena, two of the boarders at the barn were cheering for us!
Of course, my husband and trainer were saying things like, of course she stayed in the arena - didn't throw a fit, etc. But I was amazed! We had to wait about an hour and a half for my scores to be posted and then another half hour to get my test back. We went and got some lunch - no way could I eat before my test.
So - I ended up with a 56.875% in Intro Test B and got sixth place and a lovely green ribbon- yeah! I will take a picture with it on Riva tomorrow night, when we have a lesson.
Both horses loaded up first try to come home. Uneventful ride and settled back into their stalls with dinner and hay waiting for them. Both Riva and Henny seemed happy to be home. They both got extra treats and hugs before we left them for the night.
Now I am really looking forward to our next show - CAF in May. Will be our first time there. A young girl had her horse stalled beside us this weekend and she is going to CAF next month also. She was very sweet - former hunter / jumper that is just starting out in combined training. Her horse was adorable and he and Henny got along fine all weekend. Bet Riva hopes the horse that was stalled next to her is there too!