Ahh, that wonderful horse show hangover feeling you get. You know the one- you’ve spent an entire weekend on your feet, shoveling poo, hanging water buckets that inevitably splash all down your pants, walking courses, doing all sorts of math (optimum times, penalty times, time faults, dressage scores… yikes), and maybe doing a bit of riding, before you get back home, exhausted but pleased, and thoroughly brain dead.
So since my brain is not quite up to the task of rehashing all the gory details from the actual competition, let’s just talk about the course.
Pretty much from the first fence I knew this was going to be tougher than our last visit to the Horse Park. Generally fence 1 is smaller- Training jumps a Novice fence, Novice jumps a Beginner Novice fence, and so on. Not this time- fence 1 was a maximum height roll top, inviting, but still big enough. It turns out they were re-using the course from the previous recognized show. As it went on, this became more and more clear.
Fence 3 was the giant table that was at the end of my course in May. So right away, the pace needed to be forward and your horse in front of your leg.
Fence 5 took you through the new Stonehenge complex, which has caused spookiness issues even at the upper levels of competition. Then down and over the massive brush that has made me want to wet my pants. Another fence before hanging a sharp left turn down a hill, then a 90 degree angle turn into a bending line combination. Yikes.
No break after the bending line, because you’ve got to get going again to make it over the huge red bench going up the hill. Followed by collecting again and sitting back into the sunken road at 10 A and B. Then over the trakehner that has made me want to puke ever since I moved up to Novice. Luckily after schooling the trakehner at Running Start, this guy didn’t look quite as intimidating as I remembered. Though I didn’t forget that I could easily sit in that ditch (which I did when I dropped my phone into it in May).
Then up the hill, catch our breath over the up bank down the slope to a rolltop, through the water complex, over one more fence and home free!
Tomorrow, a proper recap, and a helmet cam!