Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sport Horse Under Saddle ATR -and- 14.2 and Under

These classes happened almost back to back.
It had already been a really long day.
The Fancy Pony was tired.
I was tired.
It was already after 9:00 pm...

Finally they called us in for Sport Horse Under Saddle ATR!
We charged into the ring with our fanciest trot!
We all (all 12 of us) finally got into the ring and we trotted round and round and round and tried not to run into each other.

That Fancy Pony seemed to notice the dressage ring boundaries and got SUPER consistent in the bridle, seeking my contact and following my lead!  How long were we going to trot??
Ah, now we can canter!  Take our time...  Set up the bend with my inside leg and make sure she feels soft all the way through...  Pick her up with my inside leg, and what a soft, quiet transition!!
Now, the challenge of the day...  Don't break at the canter...
BUT!
I was not thinking "don't break".  Instead, I was thinking, "Just like this!  Keep this going!"
I put more energy into the canter at every corner.  It felt so wonderful, I was grinning from ear to ear!
After a few laps, I felt Whisper waning.  She was really getting tired already.  I lifted my pelvis and tried to support her with my core.  Non-interference was my goal.  She continued to play along.  How are we still cantering?

HAND-GALLOP!
I insisted on our best cross-country canter.  Whisper obliged, but she kept asking me, "Where are the jumps?"
Sorry no jumps.
A horse explodes next to us!!
She maintains as if nothing happened.
Another horse explodes right in front of us!
We leave that one behind us as she pushed up into my hands, lifting her back to dance with me...
Yet another horse is acting up, and we don't have a hole to go though!
Outside leg to push the shoulders over, and we leg-yield to the inside of the dressage boundaries, where I decide we're going to park it for the rest of the class.
We're still hand-galloping??  What has it been - half an hour???

Now, I'm no longer smiling.  I have my gane face on.  I'm power-breathing in order to keep my core engaged and help this Fancy Pony show off everything she's got!

Finally, we walk and reverse.  Then, we're trotting again!  For D.A.Y.S.......
More canter.  I've caught my breath, but now I have to breathe my legs with every stride just to help Whisper maintain.
Hand-gallop one last time, and I push that mare for everything she's got!  THIS is the class I came here for!
I get up into half-seat and continue to breathe my legs.  Anything to help her out.  Talk about a marathon class!!!
Back to the canter!
I sit, but I don't ask for the distinct transition.  I bring her back slowly to avoid any break in gait.
Another lap or 2 and they finally have us trot into the line up.  We were both ready...

1st Place...
2nd Place...
3rd Place...
All I need is to be in the ribbons, and I'll have my qualifications for this class.  I'll be thrilled with 6th place.

4th Place is number 416 - RSA Talk ofthe Street...
OMG!  Did they really just call my number?

I didn't hear anything else!  I walked over to get my ribbon in a daze.
I exit the ring and Heather is at the out gate to meet me and she screams!!  "You did it!!"

I suddenly found myself fanning my face with my white ribbon.  I was going to cry.
I just walked out of the class with the points I wanted.
I JUST QUALIFIED FOR ARABIAN SPORT HORSE NATIONALS!!!!!

Heather brought me back to reality quickly.
"Get off your horse! She needs to rest!"
Oh, yes.
Yes, she does.
Because we still have one more class!

And I walked the steaming beast around while we both caught our breath for round 2...

Allow me to break up this talk sandwich...

Thank goodness the Sport Horse Under Saddle 14.2 and Under class was not nearly the marathon of our previous class!!
It was the same game by another name with just a few less players.
Whisper was *just* as consistent in this class and gave me the loveliest transitions we had all day!  I was as proud as could be as we lined up and waited for the placings.

This time, when they announced 2nd place, I was looking around to see who that was (I really like to get a mental image of the first 2 placing horses) before I realized they had called our number again!
I think I was ready to faint.  I walked out of there, hopped of my pony, and immediately loosened everything I could lay hands on.
What a showing!
The rest of the weekend was just for fun and games at this point!

THIS HORSE ROCKS!!
Day 1 satin - couldn't be happier!

12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I'm still in a little bit of shock. This journey has just begun!!

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  2. woooo hooo! congrats for qualifying!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! It's been a week of celebrating as we come to terms with what just happened! LOL

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  3. YAY for nationals!!! So happy for you two!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I can't wait to see where the rest of this year takes us!

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  4. Wow! Congratulations! There's nothing quite like that feeling of knowing you laid it all out there and being totally rewarded by it!

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    Replies
    1. You are so right, and I hadn't even thought of it like that. We really did lay it ALL out there!

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  5. So amazing!!! Fancy Pony ftw!!

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    Replies
    1. She just blows me away! I think I might have become a convert to mares!! LOL

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