Hmmm….well….I was going to write about the test of a life time;)  Instead I will tell you how I rode what I had under me on the day.  Colombo is the fittest I think he has ever been with me. Pam and I can’t even lead him anywhere near the cross country without a chain and even then it’s a struggle.  He was fantastic to warm up. I felt the electricity when I entered the ring and the crowd cheered. I am used to that part. However, it is usually a good booster for him and gives us the elevation and “WOW factor” we need to add a few marks.

Today, however, it was just a little more booster then I needed.  His trot work felt great and I was very happy to do a good job of the shoulder in on the center line, which I find very difficult on Mr. C. I did notice as the test went on Colombo seemed to be growing bigger and bigger.  I was disappointed with the bobble in the extension because that’s where I know I can get very good marks.  I felt the rein back was a bit rushed, but he kept from over bending.

During the canter work he really started to get excited within himself. I was very glad to ride thru it without him swapping leads in his counter canter on the left lead. That is a very tense time for us both.  I know the change was a bit fluffy… however I do not think he deserved a 50.8. I am glad it’s over. Dressage makes me almost as nervous as cross country.

Now I have my cross country hat on and I am fussing about the course.  I like it. It looks very rideable… just my kind of course. I am wary of the angled rails with ditches under them. After walking the course with David today, I feel much better about the angled rails with a gap in front of them on the way into the head of the lake.  Near the end of the course are two more angled rails with ditches three strides apart.  The ditches are HUGE!  So I make sure not to look into them:)  Luckily these jumps I am worried about are all made of hedge at the top…which I like. Gives me a good focal point and an aggressive mindset for the ride in.  Brush jumps can be attacked as far as I am concerned.

So I figure if I walk the course three more times I will think it looks better.  The more you walk it the more confident you get in your abilities.  I am so lucky to have such a good cross country horse. He and I trust each other and have been tested over and over again. We are still running into things I have never jumped before, just like these angled rails.

At Richland there was a bank with a large gap and a narrow hedge jump. So you jump off the edge of the bank across the whole “shbang” and land about 6 feet down on the backside, gap and all!  I was a bit worried about that fence because Cman and I had never jumped one before.  It was a blast and look where it got us.  Once you jump it you feel better… it’s all just experience really.

There are many of these “vicarage V” type of fences in England so I had better get used to it if I plan on doing Badminton etc…

Well I am beat. Course walking + dressage nerves = an early night. Till next time.