I’m resting up after an eventful day at MCTA. It was quite humid and it really caught up with me by the end of the day. Our dressage was decent I thought, but we only scored a 38, so that was disappointing. There was his usual bobble after the free walk and his let leg yield was a bit too shoulders-leading, but otherwise, I was surprised by the score.
Show jumping was on a grassy area, but there wasn’t too much of a slope. I think he was a bit flat because the course was really open. It wasn’t max height, which helped my nerves, but we had two rails. One was in the one stride, and the other was me getting him in a little short to the triple.
Cross-country had some decent questions, but it wasn’t as overwhelming as Morven Park. At fence 4, I almost fell off because I rode too backwards to an angled cabin. He jumped in awkwardly and I fell forward, but righted myself in time for a big drop down to two strides to a skinny. I felt a little inconsistent to some of the gallop fences, but I really rode the big trekhener well and sat in the backseat a bit.
There was a bounce bank up, which neither of us had ever done, but he handled it really well. I got a little lost after that and went through the wrong gap, so I had to stop and turn him around. Oops! It disrupted our rhythm a bit and added some unnecessary time faults, but whatever.
He did the coffin really well and the water sequence which was a drop in, four strides to a skinny out, four strides to a chevron. He got a little close to the B and C elements, but was quick with his feet and felt safe.
Overall, he was a bit fussy in the bridle in the jumping phases for some reason, but the cross-country was a good learning experience for both of us. We had 18 time faults, but without the detour, I think we would have been closer to 15 or 20 seconds, and that was what I was expecting for this first season at prelim. I’m not trying to be competitive, but it’s frustrating not coming home with a ribbon after all of our success last year. We ended up 11th this time out.
I decided this week that it was time to take Sam’s back shoes off. I’ve been riding him less and I figured we’d save some money. It’s a big step towards retirement, but once his soles toughen up, I think he’ll be happy.
Now I’m busy packing for Spain. We leave on Friday. I can’t believe it’s already here!