We had the usual share of frustration but today's hope came in the form of an ass kicking Eq round- complete with a roll back and bending line.
The flat round. Meh. We need to keep working on getting a consistent pace and I need to get stronger.
First O/F round- dismal. Eerily reminiscent of the last show in July. Lots of running around and leaping from awkward spots.
Second O/F round. OMFreaking Amazing. Medium canter. Landed on her right lead for the roll back. Landed left lead for the bending line. I stopped trying to micromanage and she stopped flinging her head like a nut. A legit, well earned first place ribbon.
Medal O/F round. I mean really- how do you improve upon perfection? While heads and tails above Round 1 we ran into a few tough spots. She gave me a flying change in the rollback but I rode her too far to the base and she caught a rail. Yes. A crossrail came down. I was very pleased with her willingness to carry onwards despite us both being a bit tired.
Medal U/S round- sad. I was tired, my leg was floppy. Ellie picked up the left lead instead of the right in front of the judge and then galloped around. The problem with letting her move out is that she has such a huge stride she ends up lapping everyone like 80 times. But bringing her back becomes a bit of a "break to a trot" battle. Again- just need to get stronger on my flatwork.
A few key callouts from today......
- We did it! We strung 8 canter fences together in a nice way. There's hope for us yet!
- Both Brook and Emma were so helpful with training today. Emma's advice- soft elbows. She laughed when she said "I don't care if you're flipping me the bird around the arena as long as you take away a few things I say." Just to be clear- I wasn't literally giving her the bird. But I appreciated that she took my attitude in warm up with a grain of salt and came back to review the courses with me!
When I asked Brook if I should just trot the last two rounds after our rough first she pushed me to try try again. If she hadn't given me a nudge we wouldn't have had our OMFA round!
- I love my barn friends! I was able to catch Tara and Tiamo rock their huntery jumper rounds. Jen and Pie were division Champions in Pile of Poles (if you recall- Pie has spent the last 5 month battling a severe eye infection that has left her partially blind in one eye). Jen called me yesterday afternoon for a little pre show pep talk after her unplanned dismount in an earlier lesson and I texted her at 6am today telling her how nervous I was.
Claire stopped by before her ride to ogle my ribbons and help me put Ellie away before joining Tara and I for a celebratory glass of wine.
It's so great to have a group of gals who I can cheer on, celebrate with, and who are always available to lend an ear!
|Jen and Pie- back in action and Champion in their Pile of Poles!|
|Getting a kiss from Alison!|
|Ells is ready to call it a day|
|The official Medal pic|
|Good friends and a little wine!|
|End of Year Division Champs!|