As we walked toward dressage warm-up, I admit I was chafing a bit — upset over my decision to have Jayne put a solid Novice ride on him this time. Oh, I had my reasons… I’m just coming back from a bruised hip bone from a rodeo moment in mid-Oct, work has been crazy, and I arrived back in town from our Thanksgiving trip with just enough time to braid before hauling over Saturday. Not to mention I’d promised to help two students new to eventing and had my daughter selling tee shirts for the first time.
So I had plenty of distractions – but so what? I wanted to be on board, dang it! His calm, lovely warmup — even without our usual lunge — made me even more perturbed.
But bless his twisted soul, he made me feel so much better as they approached the right canter circle…. Kapow! They were only crowhops, but a half-circle of crowhops on an athletic 18-hander can be jarring at best. My fabulous old-school British trainer took it in stride, even pulling a few 8’s on movements after the “playful moment.”
I guess it worked out the kinks.
I walked to stadium later that morning with a lighter heart, but still a little envious. Bucks out of the way, he’d be great now. HaHA! He covered the combinations beautifully (big plus mark here), but was a complete toot on every turn away from the gate, thus revealing his exceptional flexibility. My trainer, of course, straightened him out and exited the area cackling, “toss the eventing, he’s a showjumper!”
At this point, any trace of envy had dissolved. I even found myself silently praying for them both, for XC was yet to come. I was not disappointed. The first jump away is not his favorite. This rolltop with a slight downhill landing by the warm up area usually elicits a hop or two on landing since he finds himself on the forehand and distracted. True to form, he gave a hop or nine, but Jayne kicked him on and together they flew over the brush fence and bench a la Mary King and Fernhill. They emerged from the woods to my relief, cantered through the water and headed away toward the combinations hidden from my view. Minutes later they emerged, Jayne smiling – kinks finally worked out, he finished brilliantly – ribbons or no!
And I was smiling too… It was a good day to be a groom!