|Decked out in her traveling gear, including the hysterical Davis head bumper I won from our local tack store (it has comics on it lol). Ruby was SO not amused.
|Black and teal, it all has to be black and teal!
|I think all that waiting for the red saddle pad was worth it!
|Waiting for our first ride.
Ruby's time off definitely showed in the tests we put in, but since it was such a small, low-key event, that was okay. Her first test (Training 1) I rode with a whip (something I do schooling quite frequently, but rarely at shows). I'm not sure if that was her major dysfunction, but our first centerline was AWFUL and she absolutely refused to halt. She kept side stepping, so by the time I got her to settle all four feet on the ground, we were probably eight feet off of centerline. Not a great start..... She intermittently refused to stay on the rail, and was overall just kind of a little shit. We made it through the test, but it wasn't terribly pretty. Unbeknownst to me, I guess everybody was really having tests like that -- I spent a lot of time at my trailer and wandering around talking to people, and not much time watching, but apparently centerlines were hard on everybody Saturday. I guess I should also add that this is probably only the third or fourth test I've ridden in my life without a reader -- that was one of my big goals for this year, to work on being able to ride without a reader (since sometimes it's hard to find one!).
|I hate my hands, and the leaning in this one, but I like how she looks, so ignore me and just look at her, k?
Training 3 was the second test we rode, and frankly, it's probably the test I've found most difficult to date. Last fall with Topaz, my first attempt at T-3 was the first and only time I've gone off course -- even with a reader. I practiced it a few times with Ruby in the last few weeks, and I felt pretty confident that I had it memorized. I'm not sure if it was our schooling session that helped, or just my attitude adjustment, but our first centerline was pretty good. Our halt was solid, with none of the stupid dancing off like the previous test. So even if the rest of the test was a disaster, I felt good about that! The rest of the test rode pretty well -- only two sticky moments. In our right lead canter, she broke before she was supposed to, and when I asked her to pick it back up, she picked up the left lead. By the time I broke her down again, the test called for trot, so I just wrote that movement off and tried to look forward to the next one. Unfortunately, it rattled me a little and I forgot what the next movement was -- I thought it was a trot loop, but I needed to stay on the rail until my stretchy trot circle at B (or E, I can never remember which side is which, haha). So I sent her off the rail, then realized my mistake and swerved back to the rail. There may or may not have been some audible swearing, but I didn't get marked down for use of voice, so yay for small miracles... haha. Her stretchy trot circle was actually pretty decent, and we ended the test well. It was good enough for a 67 and change, making us the Training Level champion (I was the only person who rode more than one training level test, but shhhhhh, I love SATIN!). If I hadn't sent her almost off course (we got a 3.5 for that movement, luckily not an actual error), I think we probably could have broken 70% on that test, so I was kicking myself quite a bit when I read the test later. Oh well, at least pilot errors are probably the easiest things to fix!
|Rocking her favorite movement, the free walk.
|And her new second favorite movement, the stretchy trot!
The judge and I were able to chitchat a minute after the show (my T-3 ride was the last of the day), and she had some very kind things to say about Ruby's maturing (last time she saw us was last fall). She also had some nice things to say about our potential once I'm able to get Ruby working more over her back, and I'm really hoping to organize some mini-clinics with her out at the barn this fall!
|That wiggly lip though, I'm dying... haha.
Everyone else pretty much cleared out during my last ride (since it was the last of the day), so we were the last to leave. We had a nice leisurely drive home, unpacked the trailer, settled the horses, and I finished chores both out at the barn and then at my house. I attempted to stay up and sort through photos, but I passed out on the couch, so that was a no go, haha. I did get through at least MY photos on Sunday (because let's be real, those were the most important ones to me lol), and also managed to get my house cleaned up! We have a friend stopping by today, so I can't promise much of an update tomorrow, but I do need to share with you the hysterical little GIF EventingSaddlebredStyle made for me of Cinna's little scoot across the arena when I was goofing off on her bareback last week. Stay tuned!
|GIMME ALL THE COOKIES!