Phew! Maybe, just maybe, my life is starting to settle down a little bit. These past two+ weeks have been some of the most commitment-filled that I've had at Stanford yet. Hopefully the light is starting to brighten at the end of the tunnel...
But anyway, back to Davis. First of all, I found a picture from my first ever show there, to celebrate having completed my last ever show there! Here I am Freshman year, riding "Reddy" in an IHSA flat class:
(Looking hunterific if I do say so myself)
After my ride first thing in the morning, it was time to shift into team cheerleader/stock tie-er (my go to job, always, haha). I have to say, everyone on the team rode beautifully. It's been a tough few months for the dressage team with Rachel getting sick, and so I wasn't really sure how we were going to look compared to our last show at Cal Poly. I think I can say confidently that everyone rode with more poise, tact, and better geometry. And no one forgot their test!! Hooray!
First up after me was Christy in Upper Training. She pulled the horse I had drawn at Davis in 2010, and did an amazing job with him. Seriously, they looked so fancy. He is a little tough in the connection to the bridle and his length of neck, and Christy was fighting some nerves stemming from getting thrown during her last practice ride before the show, and so it was really impressive to watch her step up so beautifully. She put in a polished test for 4th place.
(Looking very classy!)
Right after her was Patrick, also in Upper Training and competing in his first horse show in almost a year after being abroad over the summer and fall (in Namibia and Australia... what a tough life he leads ;D). Patrick may have been out of the saddle for six months until this January, but you would have never known it from the way he rode. He got every last ounce out of his 21-year old mount and rode with great sensitivity and elegance for 5th place.
Next was Michelle, our fearless team captain, leading the way in Lower Training. She had to deal with the most adversity of the day when the rider before her got bucked off (fortunately she was ok) and interrupted the show briefly, causing her 10 minute warmup to be split up and somewhat disjointed feeling. Still, she recovered nicely for 6th place.
Olivia followed next, also in Lower Training, on an adorable little butterball of a horse. Olivia is almost as tall (or even taller?) than I am, so she looked quite amusing on a horse that couldn't be more than 15hh! She had to reach deep into her reserves of leg power to get little fatteh poneh going forward, but did so beautifully and rode a really smart test for 4th place.
Finally, last but certainly not least was our awesome Intro rider Marilu. Unfortunately, Marilu got the toughest draw of the team, and so didn't have the best test. But such is the way of IDA! Fortunately our next show is at Stanford, where I'm pretty sure our Intro division is going to have the best horses of the whole show, haha.
Overall, I was so thrilled with how Davis went. The show was well organized and actually finished with enough time for us to get home before the sun set (barely), the horses by and large were great and extremely fun to ride, and everyone was super friendly. The team standings are extremely close, with Stanford holding a 1 point lead over Cal Poly and a 2 point lead over Davis. It looks like it will be an exciting conclusion at the last show of the year at Stanford in two weeks!