Rocking Horse Advanced was this past Thursday and Friday and I realized early in the week I was entered for advanced test A. Well, after the combined test at the Florida Horse Park I thought I had better switch to test B since I had fluffed it. Luckily, Rick Dunkerton is a very accommodating kind human being and allowed me to switch to test B. Having said all that … I FLUFFED IT AGAIN. Only this time it was like when I was a little girl and would be riding Toby in the ring and suddenly go blank and panic and forget where I was going. The judge blew the whistle and of course I instantly remembered where I was meant to be going, sigh…

It was sweltering hot and I was working incredibly hard (in wool tails) trying to keep Woody springing in an uphill balance. What can I say except I’m so sorry Team Woody. Trust me, I was VERY angry with myself. One tight change gave us a 5 and other than that we improved our marks on the movements I wanted to from the week before.

So as you can imagine I was determined to get a clear show jump round to redeem myself in the eyes of Woody fans everywhere. He warmed up super again. Anne Marie and I have the warm-up routine figured out I think. We went in and did what I thought was a superb clear round. I did hear him touch the first fence (an oxer) but I never felt or heard him touch another jump. My eye was in and Woody was answering all the questions put to us. I have reviewed the video and noticed he did rock the pole on fence #2 a tiny bit, but luckily the show jump gods were on our side.

He has such a big stride, he looks a bit slow to start but we picked up the pace throughout. We made good time and left all the jumps up. I was so pleased with the round I could have cried.

Cross-country was super fun. Woody was prancing in the start box the last three seconds counting down and shot out of it like a bullet. It was our first cross-country of the season and I wanted to improve my galloping fences after Fair Hill. I couldn’t see a distance at the galloping fences at Fair Hill and wasted time. Well we fixed that! All our galloping fences were great. As for the mounds at the sunken road…

We ripped across the field towards them, I waited as long as I could before balancing him for the A element, he came back to me beautifully with the perfect canter for the job. We jumped in perfectly and headed down the hump, then back up the other side I lost my count I let the undulating ground distract me and I pushed him too much and we left out a whole stride for the B element. It was meant to be a six-stride; I even saw people do it in seven (Woody and I were never going to do it in seven). Good old Woody leaped through the air over the skinny wedge like Superman!! I apologized profusely as we galloped on to the Tiger Trap. I tell you what, it made us pretty sharp through the water complex.

We went as fast as we could safely and came home three seconds over the optimum time. Woody finished up happy and healthy. The icing on the cake is WE WON❤️!

Thank you to Rocking Horse for putting on such a great event and to all our sponsors for their wonderful support. Special thanks to the Rumbles for allowing me the ride on this fabulous horse. Teamwork makes the dream work!