This past weekend was the t3day at waredaca! This show has been a goal of mine since I first heard they were offering a long format at training. I first made this a goal with red, and then a whole slew of others... Last year I jokingly nicknamed myself the novice champion, I had been there done that on a bunch of horses, and then for one reason or another training didn't happen. I was starting to think it might not! But then this spring a bunch of things happened, I started a whole new program, and with that I have been lucky enough to expand my string.
When I bought lena I was all about getting to waredaca, I had a bit of tunnel vision. Then it came down to I realistically had time to run 4 trainings, exactly the number I needed to qualify. So no pressure or anything! We managed.
I left for fairhill and honestly didn't believe that once I got back it would be time for me to do my first three day as a rider! And then I started getting nervous, the kind of maybe I'm not ready for this, I haven't ridden in a week! Eeekk. luckily I have some awesome friends and a lesson with Mara to remind me I was more than prepared!
I arrived at waredaca with lena on wednesday, she was all business at the jogs, and she looked sharp! After being accepted, I had my first look at the course, it looked really doable, and I was thankful that Stephen was there to give us all his input on the course! I got lena settled in at turnabout farm (our home away from home for the week!) and passed out early, dreaming of perfect circles!
Thursday was dressage, and lena was as perfect as she could have been. Again we recieved a few 8s from both judges, but I gave away some points for not being acurate in the walk work. Overall I was so pleased with how far she has come, we scored a 37.9. Not our best score, but I felt it was our best test, and certainly the hardest! Lena and I hacked roads and tracks, and after getting lost once or twice I figured it out! We skipped out on steeplechase practice, because I don't need to practice going fast so to speak....
That night my dad came up from ga to watch xc, and I was super excited to see him. He hasn't seen me ride xc in years, when I was still convinced that everything happened slow! Emphasis on slow there..... So Friday I woke up feeling totally ill, we picked up lena and headed over to run around the course one last time and then get ready. At 1043 we headed out on phase A, she trotted along, but was certainly paying attention to the horses on xc, she wanted to be one of them! When we reached the end of a, I had time to watch the rider in front of me finish steeplechase, and I guess lena was watching too because when the starter said go, she was off like a rocket! We had a blast, I think I had the biggest grin, and she did too! I pulled up, colleen checked my shoes, and on with phase c we went. I let her walk quite a bit, and we made it to the 10 minute box, I can't even describe what it felt like to ride into it, normally I'm grabbing the horse, and sponging. The hardest part for me was sitting there, but colleen was amazing! She had everyone doing their job, and made sure I had time to go over my course before getting back on. Lena was not at all phased, and heading out to the start of d, I could literally feel lena grow. She is such a jumping machine!
She ate up the course. I was a bit worried about the second combination, a drop 3 strides to a skinny. I shouldn't have been the second she saw it she locked on, jumped quiet of the bank and 3 perfect strides out. Love her! She answered all the questions, and was really adjustable between the fences! When we got back to the vet box I was over the moon, I'm quiet positive my feet didn't touch the ground for hours after! Colleen and crew took great care of lena, and we were out of there in 10mins. My dad was so cute, in typical fashion, finally you learned how to gallop! (atleast someone noticed). My dad sadly had to head home, but I felt blessed that he could come for part of it.
Sunday morning came way to early! (they always do!) Lena looked like a million bucks, and passed the jog easily. I was lucky enough to be in the 2nd division, so I got dressed, and watched a few rides before getting on. I don't think I realized how nervous I was until I got on, show jumping has been hard for me, I don't trust myself enough and always seem to be making a change 3 strides out. Lena felt great in warmup and jumped around like a champion! I only made one bad choice, I moved up to a flyer, always wrong, but she sorted it out. We finished on our dressage score in 5th place, and won the award for best turned out!
I just want to say thanks to Mara for all of her help and support, jenn and allegra for riding lena while I'm gone, Colleen and her family for letting me stay at there beautiful farm and putting up with me in the vet box (that deserves a gold star on its own), my dad for coming and supporting me, my friends for all the good luck wishes and reminding me to breathe, and everyone involved with the training three day it was such an amazing experience!
Monday morning was back to the routine, up way to early, do the barn and then head off to gallop. It was the fastest trip back to reality, but I wouldn't have it any other way! Lena is on a vacation, and I am headed off to the va horse trials!