We're all home again in Nashville. I am just now blogging last weekend's event because Taco and I were on the road for much of yesterday and today was a long day at work. But now I can reflect on our first outing of 2010.
Our dressage was on Saturday, fairly early. We warmed up *fantastic* and then got in the ring and... I got tense. I am glad that, in my tension I thought Forward instead of shutting him down, but I dropped the connection and as a result he was uneven in the bridle. Then in the lengthening he broke to the canter. So I need to keep practicing my half-halts and balancing. The score was 37.3, tied for 4th.
Both showjumping and cross country were on Sunday afternoon, back to back. It took some effort for me to get Taco rolling in the warmup and develop that positive canter that he jumps so well out of. But Amy kept after me and eventually I did it. I went into the arena and Taco was fabulous. I was OK-- I rode well to some things and not so well to others. I gunned him into the two combinations (a two-stride and a one-stride) a little bit, and did not have enough canter for one oxer, but I rode a good track and I was able to tell when I was riding supportively (energy, line, balance!) and when he had to step up and help me. We added one time penalty to our score.
Then it was off to wait for my XC time. I walked around for a few minutes and then jumped a couple of last fences before heading out of the box. Taco was thrilled! He did one of those sproings!! out of the start box and we were over the first fence before I knew it. He flew over everything I pointed him at, including the corner after a turn in the woods where I could have had him between my aids better and given him a better warning about what was coming. The course was very nice and had quite a few jump-into-space fences, so I was glad we schooled those at Jumping Branch during the week. I also did my first double banks up! I felt myself jump ahead at a few fences, but most of the time I felt like we were a team working together. Taco's fitness seemed great and he was barely breathing when we got off the course.
We finished on a 38.3 which put us in 5th place. It was a good first run, and now I have more information on what I need to practice. Waiting to my jumps (yes, again), and a solid connection between my aids in all three phases.
Here are the Hoofclix photos of the weekend. Any votes on ones to buy?
And here is Carol's video. Unfortunately she did not get showjumping (technical problem) but she did get some of the warmup. You can see that I did not ride perfectly... but Taco was perfect!
Since Amy did not ride until late on Sunday (Baby Flo was 6th in her division!), we made a stop at Lynda's Run For It Farm in Covington, GA. It was fun to catch up, if only for a quick moment. Lynda's Jack Russel Arlo got to meet Amy's beagle Supah Tex. Arlo was a little bit more enthusiastic than Supah, I must say. The horses and people slept very well tucked into their comfy stalls/beds. Then it was on the road again, through Atlanta and Huntsville. We finally arrived back at Panther Springs in the late afternoon yesterday. Taco took off as soon as I let him go in his field. I feel the same way. It's good to be home again.
5 hours ago