Here there be dragons...

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

Superstars finish off the season :)

Show season ended on a high!  The last two weekends Chelsea took Lissy out, first to Glen Oro and then to the PE champs at Equus.

Glen Oro was a step up for Chelsea -- a bigger course and more competition.  And horrible weather.  She and Lissy got *hailed* on in dressage warm-up *sigh*   The footing was super deep and wet.  Their dressage was decent, but Lis was really sticky in the canter.

Times were tight, so after dressage awesome supergroom Kirby took Lissy back to the trailer to change tack and let her have a drink and a break while Chelsea and I went to walk XC.  The course looked really good -- long compared to what Chelsea's experienced before, but small and nothing terrifying.  Sweet.

Show jumping otoh...  We walked that course next and while she seemed calm, it very much looked like Chelsea's eyes might jump out of her head.  Oh dear.  Made sure she knew where to go and what to do when she got there and tried to make it sound easy -- but I'm not sure she believed me *g*   Then her supergroom arrived with her pony (so spoiled :) and Chelsea got on and started to warm-up.

All good.  Well till the first attempt at the vertical.  When Lis decided she wanted a little more time to evaluate the jump and Ches decided to take a second look.  She did a beautifully executed, if slightly unexpected, dismount -- landing properly prepared to lead standing on her feet holding the reins, looking at the jump.  Oops.  Ah well - give rider a lift back onto the pony and send them off for another try.  Sure enough the second time was much better and by the time her warmup was done both she and Lis were jumping really well.

And into the ring they went.  Clearly being slightly intimidated by the course does good things for Chelsea's riding as she rode around it like an absolute pro!  I was so proud of her :)  They were clear and it was a beautiful round.  Woohoo!
There was time to give Lis a drink and a slight break and then time to go out on xc.  And by the first fence both pony and rider were grinning wildly.   Chelsea went for a slight detour in the fourth field but she figured out pretty quickly and got pointed back in the right direction.  The rest of the course went brilliantly and when they crossed the finish line the grin on her face made it clear why she'd put up with the hail storm :)  Awesome day and even with the detour cross was clear and on time.

And that was an excellent set-up for championships!  The next weekend we were out at Equus for the PE championships.  Emily and Margaret came along to help :)  Chelsea's dressage warmup was incredible.  Arguably her best dressage ever.  Wow.  Sadly though, they used up all that dressage superstardom in the warm-up and when they went in the ring it was arguably not their best test ever.  But they did stay in the ring and generally go where they were supposed to go, so still in the game.

We walked xc and it looked like a lot of fun -- most of the course she had jumped earlier in the year.  Until we got to the second-last fence.  A trakehner.  In PE.  Hmmmm ok so Chelsea's never jumped a ditch of any sort.  Lissy's done many of them, but they're not her favourite thing in the world yet.  But still, a trakehner has a better chance of survival than an open ditch would simply because on the approach Lissy wouldn't know there's anything scary about that log till the last stride *g*   So there was a very detailed discussion about how this fence was to be ridden, then a quick discussion of the last fence and off to walk stadium.  

Stadium looked good -- it had it's challenges (including the always scary viaduct) but was actually far more inviting than the last time she rode it, so good to go :)  So Chelsea went back to get her pony and we started the warmup.  Remember how dressage warm-up was brilliant?  And then in the show ring not so much?  Well when I saw the start of Chelsea's w/u I was really hoping we'd be seeing the reverse!  Oh dear.  But we had enough time and by the time it was time for her to go in the ring, she'd remembered how to ride :)   Takes a cool head to come back from an iffy ride in a competition scenario and put it all together again for the next round, but Chelsea pulled it off.  By the time she went into the ring she was back on.  And they were superstars.  Even the horse-eating, pumpkin-housing viaduct was jumped over on the first try.  Clear and on time.  Woohoo!

And then off to xc :)  Which was amazing.   I got to see *most* of the course and it all went beautifully.  Chelsea rode the trakhener exactly as discussed -- and Lissy jumped it on the first try!  Her front feet jumped it like the tiny log fence it was, and her back feet *way* up in the air as she realized mid-air what was underneath her!  Very impressive :)
Hind feed aren't going anywhere *near* the monsters!

Took care of Lissy and then went to check out results.  THIRD place!  Woohoo!!!!  Awesome finish to her first season :)   Way to go Chelsea!


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