|I did a quick look at the weather before I left Friday.|
Harvey made our weekend start out on the soggy side!
Next on our adventure trail, Penn and I traveled down to Loch Moy to try and finish my bronze, maybe win a Dover medal, and hang out with Austen (and her new baby horse!!!).
I arrived, unloaded in record time, got parked, and then the stall front kind of organized before going down to the ring to school a bit.
|He wasn't sure of Loch Moy's new coffin complex. Like, he spooked at the logs and wouldn't go near it.|
|Hurricane Harvey clouds and super bright sun. And I didn't notice my hand shadow until I was paroozing pics days later.|
I was super excited to school in the show rings because I don't have a court at home. I like being able to school proper shapes (this is important later) and in the corners. I tend to float my shapes and corners at home, so a pre-show reminder is nice!
Penn was a bit tense and locked in his neck for our session, and I really struggled with fixing it vs wearing him down. He had a lot to do the next day, and badgering him in a schooling session did not seem like a good thing to do. He also had some warm up coughs going on. He does that, but this was an uptick from no warm up coughs. (He coughed once the night before when I was turning him out) I opted to get something acceptable from him and made a note to really work his neck/shoulder connection muscles with the miniPhaser the next day.
I settled Penn back in his stall and tucked him in for the night, and left his AM grain for night check. Austen picked me up from the show grounds, and we went off to play with her new baby horse! But I'll let her tell you about that!
|The miniPhaser also worked to force stall relaxation.|
Penn was a bit of a mess when we got to the show Saturday- he churned his stall all night and barely ate breakfast. I tried hay at the front of the stall, keeping the door open, locking him in, going to hand graze; nothing stopped him from mad stall walking. For lack of anything else to try, I did an extra session with the miniPhaser. He relaxed almost immediately, started munching the hay in front of his stall, and even went back and finished his breakfast. Wahoo!
First up was the exciting 3-1 test (bronze or bust!).We walked down to the show ring with a quartersheet on- it was misty drizzling and sub-70 degrees.
|Shamelessly stolen from Austen's Instagram.|
Penn warmed up well with minimal coughing, and Austen kindly told me to get my trot more uphill, stat. I botched the prep for the single flying change I usually ask for in warm up and Penn gave me an awkward shuffle change instead. I asked for another one, which he did wonderfully. Some hop behind, but more relaxed than not.
Off we went for the test!
I was SO THRILLED with his trot. The trot work itself left a lot to be desired, he just wasn't playing laterally left that day and I met a lot of resistance in general. But the trot itself- it was so uphill! It was like his legs grew six inches! The TOH were pretty good too! It all went to hell a bit in the canter though.
|Shoulder in right. Cherry picked photo makes it look fabulous!|
|I don't think he could get any more square. #nailedit|
He gave me lovely medium and extended canters, but for the first change (right to left), he hit the diagonal and bucked. He only does this off the right lead (then left he waits patiently for me to cue before being naughty). He buck-hopped, changed the lead behind, we both got befuddled, he trotted, and I cued for the new lead. The judge found a sense of humor and gave the debacle a 4 with the comment "Missed that one". I thought a 4 was generous, bahaha! I mean, at least he's oopsing by changing the lead behind first. That's a good mistake!
|"Missed that one" aka it was a clusterfuck of legs everywhere|
I collected him on the left lead from the extended canter and I felt all kinds of warning bells go off. I could feel a buck brewing and had zero clue what to do about it mid-test. Ideally, I'd scrap changes immediately and force him to canter some 20m circles without being naughty. But I can't exactly do that mid test, now can I? He waited SO PATIENTLY for the cue to change. I couldn't put my leg on him properly, lest I cue the buck, so our next 10m circle had trailing haunches and all kinds of terrible... I sent him down the diagonal, asked him to collect a bit more, and ever so gently touched him with the new outside leg. He promptly buck-hopped, then changed his lead. Sassy bastard.
|"Could be more fluid" aka try to keep the horse's ass below its whithers|
We wrapped up the test and I then I started fretting and worrying. This judge is not the most forgiving (Austen and I both rode for her in May), and I had made some mistakes.
|Sass. Hopefully this is the right kind of sass that let's them piaffe and passage like champs!|
|Pretty! Also, when did he get so huge looking?|
I shouldn't have worried!
|Bronze Lapel pin! (actual medal to follow in December)|
Austen grabbed my 3-1 test after I wrapped up my second test of the day, to find a 61.364%! We both squealed a bit and there was much rejoicing. (and celebratory Straw-Ber-Ritas later that put me on my alcohol intolerant ass)
It hasn't really sunk in yet that my Bronze is complete- it's been a goal for SO LONG. The first level and second level scores were relatively easy for me to get with Mikey. After getting my first level and second level scores I was like, "Well, that was too easy." Third level has been my kryptonite level for so long that I'm not really comprehending yet. So, four years and a second horse later, my bronze is complete! Wahoo!
I applied for the award as soon as the scores showed up on USDF score check, and ordered my lapel pin immediately after. They sent it out the next day and I had it 2 days later! I'm excited to debut it at Championships!