|The entire brigade ready to go at 6am|
|Fancy footing at D's new place|
Point being I knew I would need to use some of these softening techniques in the jumping for this event.
|Mane pulling the night before...apparently it puts Tillie to sleep|
After walking that and the stadium course, I started preparing mentally for dressage.
Tillie stood on the trailer like a seasoned pro and I kept her on there until right before it was time to get ready. She was pretty calm and looked around a bit but nothing too crazy. I hopped on and she was soooo tense - Not unlike previous events. So I took a deep breath and new it was all about getting her comfortable. She ended up relaxing and warmed up quite nicely...until we walked over to the dressage arenas and Tillie could see the XC courses, stadium and the 4 dressage rings. Her little brain just blew up.
Now, she behaved for the most part...and wasnt doing anything to get us noticed. But the mini battle that happened at this point has made me realize this will need to be something we figure out for future events.
|We got through our test relatively unscathed.|
She would suck back behind the contact then lean on it and get quick, she would go straight like a board and not bend to over bending and blowing through my outside aids to only go sideways and not forward. I just kept talking to myself to stay the course and keep working through it until we were up and try not to feed into her baiting. Despite all her spooks and quirks I managed to get some ride ability back although nothing like the wonderful relaxed warm up we initially had.
|Tillie feeling allll the feelings|
We were on deck and I shockingly wasnt nervouse at all...Tillie had one more final diva moment for our final lap before entering and off we went:
A few obvious errors...one being my own in our free walk doing the long diagonal rather than the short which, being the coefficient, cost us some silly points. Tillie was a bit backwards and you can see a few moments she sort of bounces back and forth between being ok to OMG I cant continue. It also didnt help right after left lead canter to trot transition I lost my inside stirrup.
Ah well...all in all the test was fine and we got ourselves a 26.
|Left lead canter circle kinda got a bit too big...luckily judge didnt notice as much|
|Right lead canter...Tillie says no I do NOT bend right|
|Free walk in between rude rooting|
The scribe for the test is actually an occasionally fellow P lessoner in our group and he made sure to tell me after the show the judge was super impressed!
Next up: Stadium.
In warm up Tillie tested the pelham a few times, just for good measure, but warmed up beautifully. We did a few closed strides and a few open with the main goal of the course to stay on the slower rhythm and do the adds if unsure...the purpose to keep it quiet and to set the tone for XC. It may not be the way to do it, but at least I had a plan. Now that she was able to do it QUIETLY (WOOO!!) I feel confident this year to start allowing a bigger more accurate canter to happen.
While our stadium wasnt flawless, I am happy with the rhythm and eager to start refining the rough edges.
ALLLL the media!! Tillie was eager to go so I made sure in warm up I just kept her walking. We came out of the start box a little too eager and the pelham did what it needed and I was able to use some techniques from my D lesson the day before to get her soft before the first fence.
She landed balanced and fence 2 rode well even after being on an uphill approach after a downhill dip. Fence 3 I knew I needed to approach and ride well with it being a skinnier brush fence. Tillie did look slightly, but leg on and chin up she launched threw it no problem.
I let her roll over the next few and did let her out a bit coming up to the water and sat up a bit just before knowing she would probably back off the water. She did, but obediently kept the forward in and out.
|Water jump out|
The next potential hard question was the bank down and Tillie proudly trotted up it and down - I smiled inside finally not fearing the ride down the bank!! Remember my irrational fear of them? Well I kicked its butt yesterday...at least for now lol.
The next few fences rode super easy and the next potentially challenging portion was the ditch off a downhill approach at an odd angle in shade and needing to land and take a hard left to the next fence a few strides after. I stuck to my guns and made myself keep Tillie cantering and took a bit of a risky angled approach to the ditch to set us up for the fence right after. Tillie ate it right up and we cantered up to home to the final fence.
|Love her expression here|