Overall, looking at the big picture, I could not have asked for a more perfect day (except for the heat. Yucky!). Pony was on fire!
We pulled out of the barn at 6 45 which put us getting to Inavale just before 7 30 leaving me enough time to go hand walk him around so he could see all the excitement. He was totally unfazed and really just wanted to graze! I hoped on at 8 and slowly made my way over to dressage warm up. He felt really good! I kept it short and sweet. Im sure if Mary was there we could have gotten even better work but he felt much better then he did at the one day. We put in a solid test with a few small things here and there but overall very steady and accurate, its kind of our thing! That put us tied for 1st with a 30! Go pony! After we finished we un tacked, gave him some treats, hosed him off, and took him back to trailer to graze. For the most part we just hung out at the trailer letting him graze until it was time to get ready for XC.
By the time XC rolled around (our time was at 12 36) it was already really hot and humid. Jackets had been waived for dressage and we hid in any amount of shade we could find! I hung out in the shade for a good portion of time before warming him up. We popped over a cross rail a handful of times before heading to a log and the oxer. Yet another short and sweet warm up! He felt great but I knew he was already getting tired so we headed for the shade until it was our turn to go.
He came out of the start box a little unsure and was sucking back at the first few fences but willingly jumped them once I assured him it was what I wanted. After fence three he all the sudden got what we were doing and kicked it up a gear! Any fences that I thought might be in issue were none existent. He was a total stud! We were making good time and I was thinking how we had a good chance of making it in with no time penalties when I took a wrong turn :( It was in the woods where there were a lot of Y's and I clearly just didnt know my course enough (only walked it once). I did get turned around and got back on track but it ate up all our time. We were already going to be pushing it to make it in if we just ran our course but once I knew I took a wrong turn I knew there was no chance. We made it back and finished the course with ease. There was not one jump where I thought he might not jump and he marched right into the water! We even put our burners on in the woods to make up some time! I could not be any happier with his performance and that is what really matters. His first big/real recognized and only his second eventing show ever and he has been nothing but perfect! We will see how he takes to the stadium fences tomorrow but so far he has shown that he is totally ready and capable of doing this and will have a very successful go at it.
On the flip side (and more competitive one at that) I am SUPER bummed. We would be tied for first right now if I hadnt made that mistake! It had absolutely nothing to do with him or how he was being and was all on me. It was just a stupid, stupid mistake on my part and we definitely paid for it with our 36 time faults and dropped into 7th. As amazing as it would have been to win our first event it obviously isnt in our cards now, however, today showed that it will be in our future! As long as all goes well tomorrow we will come home with a pretty 7th place ribbon! Definitely a bitter sweet day but I am SO happy with my pony! It was a big and tough course and he was with me every step of the way showing everyone what Gypsy Vanners can do! He is getting many compliments and comments. It is weird when you go places where people know you and your horse but you dont know them! We have pictures and videos that will be up after the weekend!