Monday, November 2, 2009

Last Show of the Season: Galway Downs

Well, the season ended as it started, with me picking up a 7th place ribbon from a big division of prelim; it's hard to believe how much has happened and changed between those two purple ribbons!

Mom and I headed down on Wednesday morning for Galway and got in around 8:30pm... not bad for having gotten slammed by LA rush hour traffic! Ringo travelled well and drank lots when we arrived - phew.

Thursday AM was spent mostly with me working steadily to get the dude ready for our 3:40pm dressage test that afternoon. I rode him in the morning and got some really nice stretching out of him, though it did definitely take a considerable amount of time for him to chill out and start trusting and listening to me in the enormous open field that is Galway warmups. I then primped and polished and braided him for the next few hours, and I have to say he really looked good by the time I got on; I didn't have a chance to clip him before the show, which was pretty mortifying, but he was soft and fluffy and snowy white and looked lovely. We had a stellar warmup, with him giving me some of the best canter I've gotten from him so far, but then I got a bit tense when we went into the ring and it transfered to him. I still thought that our opening trotwork was a big improvement and the test overall was much better, so I was a little bummed when I got a 39.2 for 11th place. Oh well.

The next morning was show jumping (out of order), and Ringo was absolutely perfect from start to finish. He was attentive, trusting, and relaxed through the entire warmup, and jumped great. Out on course, he was so relaxed he was almost lazy, and I got him in underpowered a few times where I was expecting him to bid and he didn't, and then he was fabulously athletic to jump out of all of my mistakes. We had a double clear (if not slightly sketchy) round and moved up to 7th place.

Saturday morning we had cross country. Again, Ringo warmed up like a champ and was super well-behaved -- yay!! Gina and I have been working on a new galloping position for him which I think he likes a lot better and can relax more with, and it definitely seemed to be working. Most jarringly, our zen was interrupted when I called 'outside' to a girl coming the opposite direction and she didn't hear and proceeded to gallop her horse straight into me and Ringo!! I pulled Ringo aside to try to get him out of the way, with the result that she and he were totally unharmed, but she made no effort at all to stop and her horse's jaw smashed right into my right shoulder, splitting it open pretty badly. Instead of apologizing profusely (which is what I was doing), the girl berated me for not passing left shoulder to left shoulder (when I had called it and there had been no way for me to get to her inside without endangering the lives of several people on the ground) and galloped off on her merry way. I started to lose it, but finished up my warmup to head down to the box (Ringo was, thank you God, so perfect during all of this - god bless you, horse). I was so rattled that I began to cry (again... ugh) but Gina was amazing and gave me into a lead in into the box and got me thinking straight and clear before I went out on course.

Ringo was a little strong but fabulous and gave me some seriously generous moments when I didn't get him in totally right. I could only use my left side of my body because my right was so sore, so I didn't always get him back all the way I wanted, the overall flow was really nice. I was just annoyed because I pulled up right after the last jumped and basically cantered through the flags... and then ended up 2 seconds over, which cost me 6th place. bummer!

Ringo got a nice quiet afternoon while I worked the 10 minute box for some friends (for 3 1/2 solid hours! I was cooked by the end haha) and then we went home Sunday midday. He's going to get a light few weeks now while I race to finish out the quarter, and then before we know it it's going to be time to start legging up for the 2010 season. I couldn't be more excited, or more thankful to have such an amazing horse to look forward to it with!

Braiding time

phew! dressage torture complete!

Bec and I enjoying being Paint Enthusiasts

Ringo meditating beore sj

Show jumping

Cross country warmup... pre collision

Going into the box...

...and out again

Galway is beautiful =)

Ringo and his mini twin/gay lover Devon

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