Buddy was not exactly enthused to see the lorry pull up on the yard this morning as I was interrupting his snooze time! I quickly plaited him up and we were soon loaded and on our way. It was a relatively local show but was held at our county show ground and I hadn't quite realised how popular it would be as I saw more and more horseboxes and trailers going the same route as us - eeek!
I entered the dressage and 2'6" jumping as it was all going to be on grass and I wanted to practise in a competition environment prior to our first event. I was warned that the warm ups and rings were slippery and so I made sure I kept Buddy up together in his canter and well balanced whilst warming up. We did our test and whilst it wasn't amazing (that sodding right canter got me again) I was pleased with him and his left canter was uphill, rhythmical and spot on . The score definitely did not reflect that but that's dressage so onwards and upwards!
I was then told that there weren't many left in the jumping and I'd not seen anyone go clear whilst warming up and there were shod (and studded) horses slipping all over the place so I wondered how educational it would be. After chatting to the ring steward I decided to give it a go so went and swopped tack and came back. I'd hoped to watch a couple go and learn the course (typical eventer) but there were only two more of us left to jump so I ambushed a kind young lady who taught me the course and then went and warmed up. The joys of being on your own are that you have to jump what's in the warm up and my choices today were a 2' cross pole and a 3' oxer... hmmm. I cantered over the cross and then jumped the oxer a couple of times - we then knocked it down and there was no one there to put it back so I went into the ring!!
The course was not easy for a first time (there had been 6 clears all morning), with a tricky turn on a right angle from 5 to 6 and the same in the jump off section. My plan was to get round and as we came into the ring Buddy went really green on me and backed off. I remembered my session with Warren and did my best to ride positively and keep my shoulders behind my hips. We trotted into the first as I could feel him going boogly eyed and then cantered when appropriate. The going was slippery so I was careful on my turns and I trotted between 5 and 6 but we were clear! Unfortunately due to all my trotting and setting him up we were the slowest in the jump off so came 7th and they only placed to 6th. I was a bit gutted but today wasn't about that and I was just really glad to get round together and it was a super warm up for our first event which is next weekend.
We have a much quieter week this week - I will be practising my dressage test to try and do better than this weekend - we are off to Mattingly with Warren on Wednesday for a final XC school and then it is the biggest day of the year. Wish us luck!!