Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The hills that were red

I think I'm still going off the adrenaline rush from Saturday, not sure though, but there are 2 things I can say for sure. 1 my horse is amazing and 2 we just did our first preliminary.  At red hills no less!

When we arrived at red hills, I was still in shock, (I had been quite neurotic the past few weeks, wondering what could happen, it is horses after all!) I couldn't possibly fathom that my 15 hand mare was getting ready to tackle red hills. Dressage morning was crazy, lots of braiding, and me getting those extra letters sorted out! Lena warmed up fantastic, and we started out brilliant, but then the crowds started clapping and lena got quite tense, by the end I was happy dressage was over, and just wanted to get out on the course. I was certainly disappointed in our performance and look forward to trying some new things on our next time out.

I walked the course the first time with Sara and my parents, and then a 2nd time myself.  Most of the way around I ran into some other riders, and as with all things started talking about the course. I was unsure what to say, so it went something like "well actually this is my first preliminary" the responses were pretty much wow, umm are you really sure this is a good first one? ... "of course, the course suits my horse". I don't think they understood my decision.

Saturday morning came, and after a final walk around, I actually started to get nervous. Once I jumped my first warm up fence most of the nerves left, and I was just excited. Sara met me at the start, as her preliminary horse went a few before mine. She had long enough to tell me everything rode just like we walked, and I had long enough to look up and see my dad. The count down seemed to last forever and the course seconds, but lena was foot perfect. She jumped so well, and I only felt myself make a few mistakes. The crowd cheering us on was the most amazing feeling.  I have never been to a place like red hills, with the atmosphere and all, honestly I can't wait to be in a situation like that again. It was such a rush! Lena jumped me out of the tack at the last jump, but I managed to save it.  My dad, jane, sara, and Brian were all at the finish, it was the best feeling. When my dad said they announced I had made the time I couldn't believe it. I didn't set out to make the time, I just wanted to jump all the jumps, it was the icing on the cake so to speak.

Sunday morning came way to early, thank you spring ahead! And a jog, and 2 preliminary horses. I was a bit stressed about the show jumping as it has been a personal struggle for me. I shouldn't have been, Brian and Sara were there to help, we had a great plan. I went in and was so nervous I almost forgot, then I pictured being back at hits and how well I had ridden there. Lena was perfect, and I didn't ride to shabby ither. I however rode lena a bit to picky to the last combination, and had the back rail of the last down.  I was slightly disapointed in myself, because the rail was my fault (its the first jump fault I have had on her) but over all I was over the moon!

It ment the world to me that my parents came to cheer me on, they had never been to red hills and had a blast! (my dad saw someone at the finish taking pictures, there is one of a perfect moment that I would love to give him, so if anyone knows who that might be please contact me! )I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at red hills for putting on one of the best events in the country (we could really use more like it!), Sara and Brian for all of their help and support, I couldn't have done it with out that, and of course my amazing partner in crime, lady in red aka lena who is the best cross country horse I have been lucky enough to have.

Lena is enjoying a few days off, and then were going to start gearing up for southern pines!