Friday, July 20, 2012

The could've, would've, should'ves

This past week lady in red started back into work after her post one
star vacation, and I realized I haven't updated since we qualified.
Well I wish I was writing to tell you about lady in red's super
finish, it was just not to be.

The weekend prior I had a stupid fall off a young horse, and was not
feeling 100%. The main problem was my right arm, I couldn't feel the
rein in my hand, but I thought with the partnership that Lena and I
have that I would take it phase by phase.

Lena passed the first jog with flying colors, and then I hopped on for
a quick preride. She was relaxed and almost as good as she has been in
my dressage lessons. After sorting out all those extra letters and
styling the penguin suit off we went. Lena was awesome! It was her
most relaxed test to date, she was amazing!! We scored a 61.6, I was
very happy with how she went. There is more in there but for where she
is and the fact that I couldn't really half halt on the right rein it
was perfect.

I walked around the course with Jenn and Katie. There was plenty to do
out there and to be honest I was slightly concerned about all of the
right turning questions. We had a plan and after hashing and rehashing
I decided to give it a go, and if it wasn't working then I would pull
up. I warmed up more than I normally would because I wanted to see
how my arm was holding up, so at so good!! Jenn gave Lena a quick wash
and some last minute advice for me before we headed out.

Lena was jumping amazing, and at the first question was foot perfect.
The next question was the coffin at fence 8, off of a right turn. Lena
was full of go and I had been letting her cruise but between getting
the turn and the canter I wanted I couldn't get it done. I circled to
the left and jumped through it perfectly, at this point I was
undecided what to do. We jumped the next few jumps and the next
combination was the hardest for us, I spent way more time setting her
up and she had the best feeling from the log to the drop, my
confidence was restored in my decision. Next was a roll top into the
first water, as I came cruising down the hill I lost feeling in my
arm, I couldn't half halt, or pull Lena off of the jump, (she knows
her job and is always looking for the next jump, it's one of the
things I truly love about her) she has such good instincts and added a
short stride before take off, but at that moment I knew that I
couldn't ride the rest of the course that way, so I pulled out of the
water and put my arm up. It was one of the hardest things to do, Lena
was jumping the best she ever has, but it was not fair to ask her to
continue when I couldn't. David was the course designer and kindly
pointed out the best way back to the vet box. He was the first of
many to tell me that I had made the right decision, that alone ment so
much to me. When I got to the box Lena was practically cooled off,
but we got checked and sponged and scrapped and walked, a huge thank
you to Jenn, the Davis', and the crews from turn about farm and
tebogo, all of the help and words of support were amazing.

I walked Lena back to the barn disappointed that my first one star was
not the ending I was hoping for, but I was also proud of my horse.
This spring we had been struggling with the counter canter, and
putting together a consistent test in the ring. The last 2 outings we
had she had been getting better and better. At the one star she was
perfect, I had a few bobbles because I couldn't half halt on the right
rein, but she was relaxed and taking me. I am looking forward to more
Mara lessons to continue to improve. Her cross country was amazing
and had I been 100% she would have finished double clear.

Since I got back all I think about is how I could have finished in the
top 5, how I should have stayed on that 2 year old, how I would have
been one step closer to the goal, but I have a happy sound horse, and
at the end of the day that is all that matters. Lena has been the
horse of a lifetime for me, she has such a presence about her, and
every day she is in my barn I know I am the luckiest girl in the