Peebs hauled up like a champ and settled into his stall perfectly. I was by myself again and it's so nice to have a horse I don't have to worry about. I gave him hay and water and he was happy as can be. I spent the morning watching some of the trot-a-course and 18" classes go before slowly getting Peebs ready. We had two over fences and an under saddle. They were running an open 2' division, the short stirrup, and the long stirrup all together for a total of like 35+ rounds. I was scheduled somewhere in the middle of the group.
|This is what happens when your horse is behind your leg and you pull. Julie Ward Photography, used with permission
I did a little warm up w/t/c and when there was a lull in the warm up arena popped over a couple fences. Peebs felt a little sticky; not sore or off, but stiff and behind my leg. I figured I would check where in the order my ring was, then do some easy walk trot work to try and loosen him up. But when I got up to check the ring, the woman working the back gate (not our usual woman who I love, but someone new and obviously it was her first time) was panicking because she didn't have anyone ready and there was going to be an open gate. She asked if I was ready, almost begging me, and I panicked and said yes.
|When you've already been waiting for an hour and you're bored
So needless to say, our first round wasn't great. Peebs was still behind my leg, and I kept seeing the short spots and pulling for them. What I should have done was galloped him forward but hindsight is 20/20. It wasn't an awful round, but definitely not what we're capable of. I came out knowing what went wrong, so when we went back for our second round I immediately asked for a more forward canter. And I was really happy with the round. We nailed all the distances, did one very nice simple change but otherwise got our leads over the fences, and it felt pretty darn good. Except for the last fence. I had to move him up just a bit to the first fence in the last line, which was an easy 7 strides, and didn't realize till about stride 5 that I had too much horse for the 7, but not enough for the 6. I did sit up and shorten him, but that 7th stride was basically a chip. Oops, sorry Peebers.
|At least we're consistent?
After our over fences rounds we had an almost two hours till the flat. I pulled his tack and let Peebs have a break while I chatted with people and watched more rounds go. Our flat was nothing special, but he didn't break or canter when we should have been trotting. We got a 5th out of 6 for it, which I was fine with. He's not a hack winner. Continuing with the theme, we got got 5ths in both over fences classes. I thought the second round would have been placed higher, but oh well. I knew what mistakes I made, and what to do next time to fix them. Can't wait till the end of August when we'll be there again!