Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

1st show of the year :)

What a great day at Glen Oro!

It almost didn't happen thanks to a crazy trailering debacle.  Have never had both plan and backup plan fail within 24h of each other before.  Was a fairly stressful day.  But huge thanks to Amy who rearranged her Sunday to drive us, and also to Cynthia and David who were willing to come pick us up if we ran out of options.  You're amazing!  And hugely appreciated!

Thanks to Amy though we were off on time with no drama.  And that time was a very civilized 9am.  Wow.

Selena and Lesya - thanks for all your help!
We got there and found tons of parking.  Good to go.  Unloaded the ponies and left them with Selena and Lesya -- both joining us for their first time grooming.  Olivia, long term super-groom, also came to help out as necessary :)

Walking XC
Cross country course walk was first as riding times would be tight.  The course was totally friendly and inviting and when the girls were reasonably confident they knew where they were supposed to go, we went back and got ready for dressage.

Ah dressage.  While Olivia's dressage warm-up wasn't *quite* as exciting as it had been at Caledon, it was still a little more than a hack through the park.  hahaha Bella knows the property, and every time they went past the side of the warm-up that boarders the XC course, she'd get uber-excited and express her enthusiasm for xc *sigh*   But Olivia stayed calm and did a great job with her and eventually Bella's brain switched into dressage mode.

Chelsea, on the other hand, had the extreme opposite problem of a super-lazy pony!  Lissy just didn't seem particularly interested in playing the game at all.  But after a while, Chelsea got her forward and relocated the outside rein that had temporarily gone on vacation and got some really nice moments.

And while all this was going on, Paula - a student of mine who has a ton of experience and so didn't need my help for PE dressage *g* - had retreated after being nearly run over by half a dozen different PE riders (none of them my girls -- they did a great job of navigating the w/u!) and was warming up off in her own little bubble.  Looked to be going fairly well though as her superstar green-bean was behaving herself and even starting to relax.
Paula on Ridgetop Cantata in dressage
Paula was first in the ring and put in a superstar test that wouldn't be caught.  Not a bad start to the day!  Chelsea was next in; due to her time being very close to Olivia's, I only got to see bits and pieces of her test, but I was very impressed by what I saw!    First test of the year this year, but I'd say still ranked among or above the best of last year's!  Woohoo!   Then Olivia got to go and other than some slight confusion resulting in an error of course, she did an excellent job of her first off-property dressage test!  Woohoo!

A - Enter Working Trot
Chelsea on Calista
Our supergrooms took Lissy and Bella back to do a quick tack change and let them have a drink, while the riders and I walked stadium.  It was a lovely, fair, open course with very little filler.  Great first outing of the season.  I left Olivia and Chelsea to walk it a second time on their own and shortly after they were done they reconnected with their ponies with lots of time to spare.  Bella was pretty pleased that it was time to jump stuff, and their warm-up went really well.  Lissy wasn't as sure, but after a couple false starts, Chelsea had her jumping confidently.

Chelsea and Lissy, stadium fence 3
Paula again was first in and put in an excellent round.  Cati can *really* jump, but it's only her second HT ever and everything is very new and exciting.  Then it was Chelsea's turn and she did a super job with Lis.  They had one unfortunate stop at an oxer with a downhill approach -- so now we know what we need to practice.  She got her around all the rest of the course beautifully though and by the end were working together like prostars.  And then Olivia went in with Bella and showed us how it's supposed to be done.  Beautiful rhythm, nice lines, and hit every distance.  Not half bad for her first course :)   After show jumping we had Paula in first in the Open division, Chelsea in 5th and Olivia in 8th.   Sweet!

Olivia and Superpony, 2nd last jump on course
Then on to XC.  And lets be honest, that's why we're all here.  Paula went on course as Chelsea and Olivia started to warm up and had an excellent run.  It was a great course for Cati, who doesn't love treelines, as it included several treelines.  They had a beautiful run, with only one fence she even contemplated.  Clear and on time.  Sweet.

Olivia and Chelsea ready for XC
Now in the warmup, Chelsea ran into one of Murphy's horse laws.  About the same time she got her two-minute warning, Lissy pulled a shoe.  Booooo.  She was sound on it, thankfully, but not thrilled about jumping with one foot naked.  We did a couple warmup fences to convince her she could, in-fact, navigate jumps with only one shoe on and then off they went!

Chelsea setting up for a fence in the distance
They cleared the first fence and then were out of my sight as I stayed with Olivia.  Bella was ready to go, and soon enough they too were off!   I got to see her first few fences, before catching Chelsea's last couple.  Chels unfortunately had one stop on XC due to an unfortunate trip a stride before the fence.  Booo on that.  But otherwise they'd had a great run.  And soon enough, Olivia and Bella came back clear!  Woohoo!

This look, right here...  The one when they finish their first ever XC run...
This look is why I teach :)
Final scores of the day.  Paula won her division riding Cynthia Pyper's horse Ridgetop Cantata, Olivia finished in third on Superpony -- not bad for her first show ever!  Well on the way to qualifying for champs :)   And Chelsea ended up in 7th with Lissy.  Awesome job ladies!

Next up:  Myrddin clinic and then Foxcroft CT.


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