I felt nervous but not panicked, although I did check in with Ali to see if I should expect any trouble getting down the lines. Of course not! I'd seen Ellie execute the strides for the past two days and watched any number of big hunters dink their way through. Piece of cake right?
Ending our Warm Up round having added a half stride into each line, Easy? Not so much. Ali coached me between rounds to go out and get those lines- we needed more pace! So Round 2.....I added into every line. The pace felt more comfortable and the lines were coming up great!
Ali had spurs in hand when I walked out of the ring and she and Luis promptly strapped them on and sent me back into the ring. We stepped into a bit more of a gallop (read working canter) and got 2 of the 3 lines.
I think pace was our biggest struggle all weekend- it felt a little bit like "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride." What I loved about Ellie on Friday was what a solid citizen she was. "Mom is nervous? I go slow. Mom wants to go fast? I go a little faster cause I can tell she doesn't really want to go fast. Mom buries me at the base of a fence? I climb over." There was no hesitation riding to the fences and she was on her best behavior!