Well as if I didn’t get wet enough on the Tuesday before the show… Friday’s dressage was a monsoon. The rain was pounding sideways and the temperature was five degrees. It was miserable like this all day, the rain never gave up for a second. All my horses were very good about it.
Poor Solo went last and his ring was a joke. It was a swamp, completely underwater, with mud splatted all over the white boards… very spooky you understand. I knew it wasn’t going to be our best performance when, during warm up, the tent covering the food booth came undone and blew over the ropes and into Solo’s face as we trotted by. Not that it made much difference to our interesting attempt at a frame anyways. Give him his due… if this had happened last year I wouldn’t even have got him into the ring. He was reluctant to go near the boards at first… but he got over it. Then I went off course… surprise, surprise! He got seven’s for both his leg yields. Judge’s comments were mostly about a nice horse with some nice movements, tight in his back. Well I can’t blame him for being tight in his back. I was so cold and wet, I was shaking in the saddle and my body had been clenched against the wind and rain all day.
Show jumping the next day with Solo. Cross country with the other three training horses. Better weather at least. Only three degrees mind you. Brrr! Last fence in show jumping was in a huge puddle. I knew it might be a small problem for Solo as he is very particular about where he puts his feet. I figured if I rode him strong enough to make sure he got his feet wet in front of the jump then he would be ok. What a surprise, I was wrong. Solo was fine with going into the puddle… but not so keen on jumping back into the water on the other side. So I thought he was jumping and so did he untill he saw the water on the other side and, at the very last minute, slammed his feet back down and I shot up his neck and very nearly right off over the jump between his ears. I slid gracefully back into the saddle… counted to ten then turned around and drove him over it.
By the third day of competition the weather had improved. Cross country with Solo and show jumping with the others. My catch ride show jumped brilliantly… which of course gave me a false sense of the ability to ride. HA HA HA
Song of Songs show jumped her best ever. Unfortunately one rail cost me 5th place to 10th. I warned Solo he had better redeem himself on the cross country or I might send him back to Bruce’s for more boot camp. That worked! He was a good boy out on cross. A little silly about spooking as he passes other fences (did that a lot in the old days) but by the time we were halfway around he stopped that. The water jump gave people the most trouble and with a few warnings on the way in from me, he made that feel easy. All is forgiven by the time we are done cross country… he truly is a cross country machine.