Here there be dragons...

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

Show season so far :)

Wow. So it turns out that the amount of time I have for writing blog posts is inversely proportionate to the amount of stuff I have to write about *sigh* Classic eh? My apologies to all those who should've had their stories written by now :) On to do the all in one.

Soooo way back on Jul 12, we went to the Equus CT; a Combined Test includes dressage and show jumping, with no cross country. Hailey took her Superpony (aka Bella :), Margaret took Nick and Kennedy took Apollo. The last two were both on their first show.

The weather, while thunderstorms threatened, held all afternoon. Margaret and Kennedy were in both phases back to back so they warmed up together and the horses were super. Apollo was *so* calm for his first show ever! And Nick was pretty much exactly as he is at home. Sweet.

Dressage went well -- Margaret's test was a super first try and Nick was so good for her. Judge's comment was something like "very safe horse" hahaha love it. Kennedy also gave a solid effort for her first time in the ring but never having actually practiced the test before going, her shapes were a little interpretive. It was, however, very impressive to watch her trot Apollo around a 10m circle with nearly perfect bend. I don't think I'd even realized he could *do* that! Were it the training level test she would've been set! Those girls walked their show jumping while Hailey warmed up for dressage. Her test was a *significant* improvement over Caledon; still speedy, but soooo much more accurate. The stadium looked very reasonable.

Stadium warmup went reasonably well. Nick showed Margaret his "other side" which few have seen. hahaha It startled her a little but she dealt well with it and he reverted to his usual self when he felt her get nervous. Kennedy and Apollo were legit all-stars. And then it came time to go in the ring.

Nick and Margaret went around clear and *very* under control. Fortunately the event wasn't timed and that round led Margaret to finish on her dressage score in 6th place. Sweet! Kennedy and Apollo started out really well, but sadly parted ways when Apollo met a monster in the trees somewhere between fences 5 and 6. K was unhurt, just disappointed (it's hard when all that adrenaline gets pulled down by gravity!) and A was very confused as to why K wasn't on anymore when they'd been having so much fun jumping stuff!

The fences went up and Hailey had her turn. And with no interpretive circles, they jumped clean and mostly under control! This led to finishing on their dressage score in THIRD place! Woohoo!

After that it was time to school xc. All three riders headed out to the course - Nick and Apollo jumped the PE course with the occasional E fence thrown in, and Hailey did both the PE and the E course, with one PT fence for good luck :) All three horses and riders navigated the little bank up and down perfectly as well as a whole variety of other options. Apollo decided he *loves* xc and really got into the game. Gallop, jump, eat! Seeming to have fun with all 3.

So overall, Equus was an awesome day.

So we followed it up with going *back* for their full HT (horse trial = dressage, cross country, and show jumping). Just Hailey and Bella came to this one. Dressage continued to improve, but the competition was much greater here. Stadium course was very challenging -- ate most of the E and PT divisions - but Hailey rode it brilliantly; her best course yet! Then out on xc -- and really, that's the whole reason for this game. They were *fast* (particularly entertaining as the person in front of them was exceptionally *slow* and having regular stops, so they very nearly caught up! Not a situation I usually have to teach my students about in xc, but now we know :) and fast is not ideal, but fortunately for Hailey time faults were being considered "educational purposes only" and didn't have any influence over the score.

The next weekend, having jumped double clear and starting to get a hang of things, Hailey and Bella upgraded to Entry at Grandview. Now they had schooled the Entry course there before so had a fairly good idea what they'd be doing. Dressage was decent; not terribly competitive at this level but for a rider who's only been doing dressage for a couple mths and a pony who'd much rather be out on xc, I was pretty happy with them. Stadium course was lovely -- bigger of course, but fair and well set and she rode it *really* well. It was the first course where I've seen her really take charge of the pace and both check the pony where necessary (slick footing in one corner after a deluge of rain) and ride forward to the big oxer with scary filler. I was really happy with that. So then out on xc, where both child and pony had an absolute blast and jumped clear. They finished in 9th with Hailey coming home requesting dressage lessons. hahaha perfect! Now we can get somewhere :)

So now you're caught up! Upcoming are the GEC hunter show on the 13th, the Lollipop show on the 17th -- GEC is open to anybody who'd like to participate, Lollipop anybody under 18. And I think either Glen Oro or Woodwinds - but I'm not sure which yet.


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