Ha! I didn’t even realize it was Friday the 13th ’til just now. Good thing, too, because I’m already superstitious. Well I have to say I’m on cloud nine tonight and as long as my horse stays happy and healthy throughout this event nothing can take away from today’s test. We’ve been working hard a long time to break into the 30s and I’m so proud of Woody for pulling it off at Fair Hill international to take the lead after dressage.

I try not to worry too much about every test score sheet. I’m more about what the owners, coaches and myself feel about how each test goes. I try to build on each test and improve the marks I know we can improve. As long as I feel we are building and getting better I’m happy. Everyone who knows me has heard me say “stay on, stay in and remember the test”! That’s hard enough as it is.

Going into the ring today after Plantation Field and confidence-building sessions from Christilot Boylan and David O’Connor was really enjoyable. We went in there to give it our all and be proud of all our hard work and Woody’s talent. There was still at least one moment in the test where I thought the extra fitness was going to cause us trouble, but instead of backing down and “chickening out” I asked Woody to put it to good use and he did, bless his heart.

I was super-happy with the effort we put in and told Woody on the walk back, “No matter the score, Woody, I’m proud of us and you were a rock star.” When we got back to the barn I hopped off and AM put Woody in his stall. They announced his score of 39.4 and I was very close to tears as I hugged Woody and stroked his neck, telling him he’s the best horse in the whole world. Then I hugged AM and said thank you. We jumped up and down in each other’s arms, saying, “Yay, we broke into the 30s!”

Then we paused and asked, “What was his score?” We were both so excited when we heard the “thirty-something” neither of us quite heard the rest????

Low and behold, Woody is in the lead after dressage. Seeing John and Judy Rumble on my way to the press conference was such a joy. They were both so happy for Woody and I. I love having the Rumbles at each of Woody’s competitions. They make it so much fun no matter what the outcome. They put SO MUCH into the sport, as well as Woody and myself; to do well for them with their lovely horse makes me so happy.

The press conference was great. Everyone is so supportive and rooting for Woody. Plus I got to have my picture taken with EN’s chinchilla.

I realize that Fair Hill is not a dressage show and going into tomorrow I will have my head in the game. The course is “relentless” as Ryan W. described it. It’s a long tuff track with serious terrain and the questions are spread out right the the end. The coffin is always tuff and the last water will be a challenge on tired horses. Luckily the footing should be perfect. I don’t go till very near the end at 3:15pm. Come on Woody, you got this buddy!