Z officially has her first Novice under her belt, adding to her flawless show jumping record and adding to her near flawless cross country record.
We have essentially been doing a complete overhaul of the stang's dressage this past week, so I kind of knew what to expect when we went in the ring. She did just about as great as we though she would, ending up with a 36 and change. Definitely not bad, since we've been working so incredibly hard all week on keeping her more consistent and forward into the bridle. I am so pumped to really get our twinkle toes shining.
Jumping is definitely Z's strong suit, but she has become significantly more opinionated in recent weeks about how she thinks she should jump. Typical mare. :) Our warm up was not really what I wanted, but since I got down to warm up so early, I got the chance to give her about a ten minute break before popping over a few more warm ups and then going into the ring. As long as I kept her in front of my leg, I was able to have a near foot perfect stadium round. She was completely clear, we just have to continue to work on rideability. She did so excellent. I always try to let her see any jumps that look scary, are part of a combination, or have strange lines to them. This course had two lines that I was very worried about because they had shorter approaches and the ground was a bit uneven and slippery.
After stadium I just got that totally unbelievable adrenaline rush that comes with preparing to go cross country. And let me just say, my girl rocked it. I really let her gallop since the course was fairly spread out. We don't have a lot of hilly terrain to consistently ride over, so this was a good opportunity to feel her out over hills. By the second big downhill gallop, she was rocking it. It's unbelievable to ride a horse and physically feel her figuring things out in each phase. She is also the only horse I've ever taken to a show that doesn't really care where she is. She's the exact same horse on and off property.
I want to send a huge thank you to my incredible trainer, Desiree Bene, and Rachael Stillwell for giving me more help and opportunities this year than I ever thought possible. I may not have done a whole lot of shows this year, but I've felt more prepared than ever before and have had more fun than ever before, thanks to you guys. :)
The plan moving forward is to possibly hit another unrecognized Novice and then do the recognized Novice at Radnor in October. Wish us luck!