2013 Memories

2013 Memories

Sunday, June 30, 2013

I die... he is WAY to adorable

Whenever I look at my horse I just cant help but think I have the cutest one around. I mean really, take a look at my hunter pony in the making!

Fence 2: Clock oxer

Fence 3

Fence 4: Scotty dog oxer

Fence 5A

Fence 5B

Fence 6

Fence 8

Fence 9 (with a really bad distance that you will see in video)

Victory gallop!

My horse show homies

That face... it gets me every time :)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

We like number not letter!

I am trilled to say that pony and I completed our very first recognized 3 day event! Although it wasnt without our disappointments the fact that it had nothing to do with how he performed makes it all better. Of course taking a victory lap with a pretty blue ribbon would have been the icing on the cake (and we would have easily done this without my brain fart) just knowing that my fat little pony and I jumped clear makes me smile! Really our main discussion about my little XC adventure is that it was really good that I didnt win. I mean I already have a 'big head' when it comes to my pony, if we would have won on our dressage score at our very first recognized there would be no stopping me! Especially since there was a horse that has previously competed up to prelim in our division. So for now I will hold onto the idea that we SHOULD have won :) In reality our 'win' was much bigger than any ribbon. This boy is going to be hard to beat with more miles and some better conditioning (these TB people take this stuff for granted! Fat Gypsys are ready to fall over dead after a weekend at BN!). We are ready to rock BN/N for the rest of our lives together!

Today was stadium day! Since my division didnt start till 4 20 we headed out earlier to watch the big boys do XC. Overall this year was a great year for everyone. I didnt hear/see the ambulance go out at all and although there were a few falls it seems like overall it wasnt bad. It is always fun to watch Intermediate! Just like yesterday today also got super hot, luckily we got to hang out in the shade for most of it but it was horrible when I had to ride. After picking up the pony we slowly got ready and headed out to warm up for a nice long walk while watching the couple divisions in front of us to see how it was riding. We popped over each jump (cross rail, vertical, and an oxer) a few times a piece and called it good. He felt great and was jumping really well  but really there was nothing that was going to fully prepare him for the real super dressed up and fancy stadium course. As I trotted him into our course his head shot up and he was looking at all the scary fences (Inavale is known for their stadium fences!). It was definitely not a gorgeous round. I buried him to some fences, got awkward distances to others, and over all he was sucking back. I was tired, he was tired and I did not give him a great ride. But the end result? Double clear! He took it all in stride and even though I knew he was terrified of some of them he put on his big boy pants and packed my butt around that course. It is most definitely the biggest and scariest course we have ever jumped. You can tell he is still pretty green to all this but he is so willing and trusting that it will only get better from here! I LOVE my pony :)

Dressage/XC pictures!

Finish line! Big smile even after I knew I blew our chances of winning

One thing you dont think about when planning for an event is how much your 'people' mean to you! I had an amazing support group this weekend with the biggest person being Alanna. She helped braid, walked/held my horse, helped tack up, brought me water when I looked like I was going to pass out, grabbed my horse after xc and stadium to walk him out, took pictures, etc. If I needed anything my 'people' were there to help! Today I had Alanna, my mom, our barn owner, and another boarder. It is really nice to have people who are willing to throw away their weekend to come stand in the heat all day running around just to help ensure you have a successful weekend. I honestly cannot imagine having to go to one of these alone (although I might be later this season!). I know it isnt as fun for them to come horseless, knowing they would rather be riding, but they still come to support me. I love my people! I love my pony! And I loved this weekend!

Video of all portions and stadium pictures to come :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

I got lost...

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!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ready or Not...

Here we come! Pony got his bath and my tack got cleaned today. Hopefully he stays decently clean. I added more shavings to his stall in hopes that they would absorb more pee then he will!

Picking Daisies as his lovely locks dried :)

After Alanna and Alyssa got off work we headed out to Inavale to check in and walk my XC course. Its not the easier course I was hoping for but luckily I have a good pony! He will be an extremely tired pony by the end though. The fences are big (for BN at least!) but we have jumped most all of them already. The one thing I am worried about is a log that is set on top of a mound. Its like a drop off! If it were any steeper it would be a bank. Then right after thanking God that he gets me out of that one alive I have to make a super quick recovery and jump a large log into the woods. Other then that it will just be how game he gets throughout the course. There are some fences that come up quick or are around a corner (where lots of people/ambulances will be) that he might look at some but they are further into the course when he should know his job already. Id be lying if I didnt say I was nervous but im sure once we get going and the adrenaline gets a pumping it will be better :)

Our course!

The day has finally come! Pony better brace him self for tomorrow, its a big day!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Slowest week ever

Why is it that your shortest work week always feels like it takes 2x as long? Maybe just because im a tad bit excited :)

Pony got his pedicure today (was supposed to get it Monday but farrier had an out of town family issue. Thank God he is barefoot. Re setting shoes 2 days before Inavale would stress me out, and that is saying something!).

He is SO patient.... NOT! At least he stands still!

I am so thankful I took tomorrow of work also. I didnt want to have to worry about packing, cleaning, and bathing my horse (just giving him a bath is a 2 hour job at least) after getting off work at 5 45. I have to do barn chores in the morning along with ride someone elses horse for them. Then im off to the store to pick up snacks and corn starch (to give pony a bath) before heading out to the barn to clean him and my tack and have everything ready to throw in the trailer Friday AM. After I finish there I am heading to pick Alanna up from work and we are heading out to Inavale to walk my xc course! Should be a busy but fun day. Still cant believe I have 1 day away from our first recognized :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Everything is just perfect :)

Perfect horse, perfect lesson, perfect trainer, perfect everything! I could not be happier with how our lesson went tonight and it was a great kick start to our final week (or days) before Inavale! Of course perfect does not mean easy but nothing worth having is easy right?

Big goal for our test is to ride it like it is a 2nd level test. We worked on getting him to respond to my half halts by rocking back onto his hind end instead of just plowing down and getting heavier in my hands. Once we established that everything fell into place including a beautiful canter to walk (YAY!!)!  It is always super fun to have a lesson where you can really feel the differences. You dont realize how bad something feels until you feel what it is like to ride it nicely! Everytime Mary would say "There did you feel that?" I couldnt help but smile and laugh because I TOTALLY could. The difference is amazing and he felt amazing tonight. By the end he was really rocking back, sitting, and light in the bridle (even on my right rein!). Its hard not to leave a lesson smiling after feeling how great he felt!

 I am getting SUPER excited to return my focus to showing solid 2nd level this year after Inavale. He is riding and feeling better than ever and I want to keep that up. Plus I still dont want to push his too hard over fences. Depending on how this weekend goes we may do another 3 day in September but will tone back the jumping (will still do some though) in July at least. I was really hoping to go to Lake Oswegos recognized dressage show in August but I found out its the same weekend as our annual family camping trip (uncles/aunts, cousins, grandparents, etc). I have my eye on a league show at the end of July. Then I am planning on (as long as I have money) getting my first level scores at Devonwood at first level in September at the open class day at champs. I do want to get my bronze medal some day :)

Pony after our lesson tonight :)

On another note (about perfect things of course!) a BIG congrats to our best friend and partner in crime on her purchase of her dream Welsh Cob filly by Cardi!! Pony and I will be waiting for our pas de du :) For those that dont follow her already you can see her adorable pictures on her blog at

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Getting ready

This week is all about getting ready for Inavale. I took Thursday off also so I dont have to worry about bathing, packing, cleaning, etc all after I would get off work. Plus Alanna, Alyssa, and I are heading out to Inavale on Thursday night to walk my xc course. That way when we arrive on Friday morning for dressage we dont have to worry about finding someone to hold him to go walk it, worry about timing, etc. Im hoping to make it as stress free as I can since it is 'stressful' enough just worrying about riding well!

Overall I feel pretty prepared. Definitely over prepared in some areas which is a really nice feeling. Even with his lack of jumping experience at shows (or course work) I feel good about that too. He really draws confidence from me so as long as I ride him well he will jump. The one area that we will be lacking is in conditioning. Yes he is decently hard work 5-6 days a week and for any other horse it would be fine for BN but with us having to do both dressage and xc in one day its not a matter of if he will be tired but a matter of how tired he will be. Luckily he is super willing and pushes through even when he is more tired. I think a real 3 day format will suit him best but I also plan on doing much harder conditioning work for our next one (whenever that should be). I am really looking forward to it and cant wait to see how he does!

We jumped today and after I got him moving out more he felt really good. I definitely get sucked into a nice relaxed hunter canter pace instead of a more forward working pace. Today I really pushed him forward and it felt much better. I did buy some spurs so hopefully they get here Monday. I ordered them awhile ago in hopes that I would have them in time to get some rides in before Inavale so I could use them there (mostly dressage). Fingers crossed!

Monday we have a dressage lesson, Wednesday we will jump again, Thursday we will have a light dressage ride before his bath and Friday we will be off bright and early!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pony still holds the title

Yes, pony still holds the title for Worlds Best Pony! He has been AWESOME this week! After watching our wonderful trainer ride him the other week I bucked up and have really worked on riding him much stronger. Since I started doing that I have realized how weak I had been riding him and expecting him to do all the heavy lifting.  He goes around so nicely without a fuss no matter what which talks me into letting him fall on his forehand which makes canter to walks and collection work impossible! Since my new found riding abilities (who knew I could ride like this?!) we have had some seriously nice feeling rides! And our canter to walks? SO much better (I think at least. We will find out at our lesson on Monday).

I still dont think it has hit me that we are actually competing in our first recognized next week. Seems like yesterday when I brought home a fat little 3 year old :) Its amazing how far we have come together and im looking forward to showing him off in his new career and showing people that just because he is a fat drafty pony he can still run with the best of them!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How sweet

I guess there is some bloggy award thing going around. Thanks for nominating me to those that have!
Here is the low down:
List 11 random facts about yourself.

  • Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  • Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate.
  • Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or fewer followers to nominate and include links to their blogs.

Thank you to and

11 random facts about me:

-I really, really want to ride a bull (not a PBR size one but a smaller one!)
-Im freakishly tall for a girl and am always mistaken for a basketball player instead of a horse rider (did play senior year 3rd in state baby!)
-I watch far to many tv shows and watch most religiously
-Channing Tatum quite possibly may be my husband
-Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect are some of my favorite movies
-I work at a daycare with little kids. Fulfills both my love for children but is also a great birth control for the time being!
-I am not a very serious or emotional person. Like at all. I cannot stand people who cry to much or dont laugh enough
-I have 6 dogs (we are borderline hoarders haha!)
-I am terrified of chickens
-I am obsessed with Taco Bell and will most likely own one some day (if I have anything to say about it!)
-I thought I was much more interesting before trying to come up with 11 things about me!

First set of Q's:

Favorite Bill Murray movie? I honestly had to look up who he was (know the name just not the face) haha! Space Jam for sure though!

Name a hobby besides horses that you wish you were really good at. I wish I could sing and/or dance!

Dogs or Cats? Dogs for sure

Vampires in pop culture: for or against? Not going to lie.... The Vampire Diaries is a favorite of mine. Not typically that kind of girl but it is a good show!

If you could switch careers tomorrow what would you do instead? Obviously I would be riding/training

What’s a show name for a horse that you’ve always liked? Cant think of one right now but I love looking through horses names at shows. There are some seriously cute ones.

Favorite ribbon color (other than blue!) Other than blue? Is there another color?!

One piece of horse tack you are dying to own. I would really like to get a new jump saddle that will fit my giant legs

Morning person or night owl? Night owl. Even then sometimes I go to bed early, never a morning person though!

Favorite color of horse. As much as I enjoy my adorable black and white pony... those dark bays always get me! Especially chromed out

If you could travel anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go? Hawaii. So cliche but so true.

Second set of questions!!

What is your favorite childhood memory? Just playing in our neighborhood in general.

If you could have a super power, what would it be? Keep people/animals from getting old and/or sick

You have one wish - what would you do with it? Pray to God that we make it around Inavale next weekend!

What is your favorite color? Purple

What are you most passionate about right now? Always passionate about riding

You win the lottery. What is the first thing you buy? I would buy a nice piece of property (big!) so I could ride/train at my house. Then a horse trailer with living quarters :)

What is something that intimidates you? Growing up!

What is a quote that best describes you? No idea. Something about being happy!

If you had a week off from work, what would you do? Sleep :)

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Hawaii

What is the most dangerous/daring activity you have ever partaken in? Im not sure? I went zip lining that was like hundreds of feet above the ground. I want to ride a bull though!

I am really bad at this stuff so I challenge/nominate you all to do this! I would love to read all of your guys answers.

On the pony front he is doing great! We have had some really nice dressage rides recently and plan to jump in the next couple days. Inavale is NEXT WEEK. How crazy is that?! Ride times come out on Monday. Alanna and I are going to head over Thursday night to walk my xc course so we dont have to worry about it on Friday while we have the pony (we are just hauling in so no stall). It will be one less thing to worry about so that will be nice. I still cannot believe that we are doing our first recognized in a week. I have been looking forward to this for years and it is now quickly approaching. SUPER excited and nervous at the same time.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Beach Day!

Unlike our last beach adventure, yesterday was a blast! Decent weather (a little cold to start but once we got to galloping we warmed up!), awesome ponies, and basically an empty beach. After our little 'fun' on our last trip I wasnt sure what pony would think about going back into the ocean. He totally surprised me by marching right in! The best he has ever gone into it. Apparently he decided that since he made it out alive last time there is no stopping him now :) He has never been bad about going in but has definitely hesitated and needed some persuading to in the past.

I did some trotting/cantering in the water and down the beach before handing the reins over to Alanna so she could have a ride on him while April rode her steed Roz. Then they switched and April got to take a spin on him before I got him back to do a little end of the ride bridle less fun! He was being super good and the beach was pretty empty so I figured why not!? Besides trying to head back to Roz, who was just standing, at first he was awesome! After realizing that he had to listen to my legs he was a total stud! We trotted and cantered and even cantered in the water a little! SO. MUCH.FUN. Maybe next time we will go bareback and bridleless :)

On an unrealted note... we are officially IN for our first recognized 3 day event!! We will be doing BN at Inavale in 2 weeks (OMG did I really just do this?!?!). SUPER excited!

April and pony

The gang!

Flying pony!

Alanna riding

Me/Pony, Alanna/Roz

Cute little pony trot!


Good boy pats  :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Just what I needed!

After coming out unusually grumpy for his lesson yesterday he worked out of it quickly and it turned out to be a great ride! It is so much fun to watch someone else ride him (better then me!) and see how he goes. He looked REALLY good! Nothing is cooler than watching your horse go around like a total 2nd level stud :) And what is cuter then a Gypsy Vanner half pass (well a baby one!)?

Last night really motivated me to get back to work and really focus on showing 2nd level for the last part of our summer. After Inavale (and a short vacation for him) we will go back to work and get out to a couple dressage shows hopefully. Inavale in 3 weeks!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hair care

Since I have had several people ask me about what I do to keep Mystics hair nice and growing I thought I would give yall a quick idea of what I do. It really isnt that much! Since he has been working hard all week and jumped yesterday I gave him today off work so he could have a rest day before his dressage lesson tomorrow. Instead I went out and did his hair!

One of the biggest points I can hit is that if you are trying to encourage your horses mane to grow (therefore keeping it braided) make sure it is clean! If you dont wash it the likelihood of them rubbing whole braids out is very high. I have never had a rubbing problem with Mystic, knock on wood!

Step 1: shampoo and condition!! Also be sure to thoroughly wash it all out. If you dont wash it good enough that will also make them rub.

Step 2: brush it out so you can run your fingers through it

Step 3: do large loose braids. I typically do 5-6.

Step 4: double mane up and zip tie. Obviously if their mane is only 12" you dont need to do this but Mystics longest braid is well over 3 feet long and drags the ground.

It really is as simple as that! I am at the point where I can leave his mane up like this for a week without having to redo it. By the end of that week it is definitely coming out and not pretty but it is all still up and off the ground. As long as you stay on top of it, it really doesnt get too hard to do.

I am super happy with MTG! He had this fungusy stuff right behind his knee on both fronts (same spot on both). Just one little spot on each that apparently a lot of other Gypsys also have. It hasnt ever bothered him but also hasnt gone away. This week I pulled out a bottle of MTG that I have and decided to give it a go. Today was day 4 of using it and it is totally gone already! We will see if it comes back and how long it takes if it does.

He gets ridden by our dressage trainer tomorrow night then maybe a Tuesday night walk up the hills? No slacking for the pony this month! He will have a nice little vacation after Inavale though :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

No backing out now

It is official.... our entry for our first recognized 3 day has been SENT IN! Both a feeling of extreme excitement and also that feeling of what did I just do!

Im sure the next 3 weeks are going to fly by. Pony gets to be a super dressage pony on Monday for a training ride. Im hoping to get some video on my phone, we will see how that works out! Then I plan on doing some hill work once a week (maybe even twice), 2 dressage days, one jump day, and one lighter fun day.

Today was our jumping day! Of course I finished setting up fences and was all ready to ride when I realized I must have left my breeches at home (had to do barn chores first so I wore other pants so I didnt have to ride in wet breeches!). I was not going to let all my hard work to waste so I did the next best unsafe thing, besides trying to jump him bareback over scary fences, and just rode in my jeans an bogs. The worst part about it was that I have a rub on the inside of one of my legs and it was not the most pleasant feeling having it rub against my jeans/stirrup leather. I did notice how much more effort I put into keeping my legs nice and secure, funny how that works!

His face when he first walked into arena haha

I dressed up the fences and made them more scary than he is used to. Inavale is known for having really fun and dressed up stadium fences. The have huge teddy bears, wood cabins, a piano fence, a Kerrits fence, etc. Will make for super cute pictures but also a big eyed pony. He looked hard at the cross rail the first time I brought him to it and thought about stopping. Instead he broke to a walk and I just made him walk over it. That way it wasnt a big issues but he knew he had to go over it. From there on he was great! He looked at both the other ones with tarps but popped right over them with some encouragement. I was super pleased with how he handled it all.

After we were done I walked him down the road to cool him out (its been in the 80s!). Not that you guys want to see a picture of my horses poop but he is so strange! He never poops under saddle (for the most part) but he has to every.single.time we get to this one spot on our walk. Its so weird!

Yes lades and gentlemen, that would all be from my horse!

He then got to enjoy some time outside without his muzzle on. Oh happy pony!

Tolo giving yall a smile :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Feeling great!

Since Saturday the pony has had a pretty relaxed time. He got off free on Sunday and Monday (with just a 20 minute walk each day) except for a quick bareback trot in from the pasture to make sure he felt okay after a long Saturday. And wouldnt you know he felt awesome!! YAY for sound jumping ponies! He hasnt felt bad, but with our small issue last year that we never got an answer to you never know. Luckily it is looking like it was just a pulled/strained muscle instead of any bigger problem. Looks like Mystic gets to enter the big boy world of eventing soon :) Tuesday he got a 20 minute lunge. Something I rarely ever do anymore but I had to go ride someone elses horses after work and with it being hot I wasnt feeling up  to another ride.

This is the face the I got tonight as I was taking him up for our first working ride since our show. Clearly he was quite amused with the 80 + degree night and having to work haha! It actually turned out to be a great ride and he felt really, really good. I only rode for about 30 minutes but was working most of the time. He seemed to handle the heat super well and could have done more if I wanted to push him more but I wanted to start back nice and easy. We have a lot of conditioning work ahead of us anyways!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Making it all worth it

Today was one of those days that makes all the other days worth it! All the time, money and energy spent at the barn and your job to help afford this extremely addictive and extremely expensive hobby we enjoy. The thing about horses is that all it takes is just a little break through (big ones are even better!), a nice ride, accomplishing a small goal, etc to keep us riders plugging along in hopes of someday reaching our goals.

Todays goals?  1) Finish on a number, not a letter (aka dont eliminate or fall off!) 2) ride him to every.single.fence. and 3) HAVE FUN!

Obviously my competitive side did not escape me and of course I wanted to win but as long as I had good rides I would be happy. This was his first one day, first time putting together a xc course, first time doing dressage on grass, first time doing 3 phases in one day (thats a lot for a drafty pony!), etc. Basically a lot of firsts for us today. I definitely went into it knowing we could get around but not knowing if we would have any stops in either phase. He is not a stopper but he has and will stop if I dont ride him well to a new or scary fence. That is just inexperience at this point as he really hasnt jumped many stadium fences, especially more dressed up ones, and although he has been schooling a decent amount he hasnt done long course work anything.

Dressage was okay. For sure not even close to our best test. Actually I was kind of embarrassed to get a 32 even but considering it felt about 10 times worse I took that score happily! I think he was really un sure about the footing. His first test in grass not to mention un even and holey in some places, not bad just not what he is used to. Then they were running late so I was on him much longer then I hoped to be not to mention the fact that the rider in front of me decided not to show yet they held the arena for her before saying to me that I just needed to go in now. Oh dont mind telling me 2 minutes earlier that I might go in as you have seen me just standing here for 10 minutes. We got it together and I made sure to ride a nice accurate test since I knew my normal dressage pony did not show up to play today (or more like the dressage rider didn't show up either).

Stadium was awesome! Short warm up (rule of the day) where we popped over a cross rail, vertical, and an oxer a couple times each, with him acting like he has done it all his life, and we headed down to the arena to wait for our turn. He questioned one or two of the more bright colored fences with planks but went as soon as I put leg on and reassured him that yes I did indeed want to jump over it. It wasnt a perfect round and I didnt ride him as well to some where he happily picked up my slack and I couldnt have been more pleased. Apparently we had 4 time faults moving us from 1st to 2nd. I didnt feel like we were going that slow and even asked other people who didnt think we were either. Then we looked at the scores and quite a few people had time in stadium. Either way I was super happy with how he rode!

I made the mistake of checking scores right before xc (which we did last and I hadnt even seen our dressage score yet so didnt know we were in 1st). I honestly was more nervous on the walk to the xc field then I was when I was on course. He warmed up amazingly. He definitely knows the difference between stadium and xc as he was dragging me to the warm up fences. I knew that the fences I needed to really, really ride him to would be the first 4. Partially because once they get going over the first part they tend to get more and more confident throughout the course and also because they had some weird angles and light/ground changes. I feel like I rode him as confidently and well as I could have and in return he jumped each and every one of them. He looked hard at fences 1-3 but I never felt as if he wasnt going to go after I put my legs on. From there on out it was pretty much smooth sailing and he took the remaining 12 fences like an old pro! He was tired by the end but I knew that was coming. Majority of the fences were maxed out (2'8") and it was basically the length of a recognized xc course (it was 15 fences and optimum was 4 minutes something) and that is after already doing dressage and stadium. I couldnt be more pleased with how he performed today!

He went right in!

Last fence!

Even with a total of 13 time faults (wouldnt of had any xc if I hadnt chose to take him through unmarked water before going through our flags) we will pulled it out and placed 1st by over 10 points (majority of the other people had refusals on xc)! I was not pushing him for speed in either one and didnt even wear a watch. That way I could just focus on having a nice solid confidence building ride. I also now know more of the pace that we will need for the recognized.

This was the perfect first outing/prep event for the recognized at the end of this month. It was also a 'test' for us. If I felt like he was overfaced and today didnt go well I was not going to push to enter him in the big trials at the end of the month and instead do our first event elsewhere later on in the year. After today I am feeling very confident! Now we really need to crack down on conditioning so we can eliminate our time faults!