We had our final lesson on Friday, and went through Training Test 2. On Saturday I kept our ride fairly light, practicing some 20 meter circles and transitions. We still had a little trouble with creeping forward in the halt, and couldn't get the left lead canter on the first attempts, though I am getting the hang of asking Cupid to bend through his ribcage and making sure I don't lose his outside shoulder when I ask. And also make sure my reins aren't too short.
On Saturday I gave Cupid a bath, and loaded all my gear into my trainer's trailer (she was going to trailer Cupid along with another student's horse), and put all my clothes on the dresser so we'd be ready to go.
On Sunday, show day, I woke up bright and early at 4:30am! Get dressed with sweats over my show clothes, and head out to the barn in the pitch blackness. I gave Cupid some grain to keep him busy while I braided his mane. My trainer wanted to leave before 6, her other student was riding at 8am and my times were 8:20 (Training 1) and 9 (Training 2) and the show is about an hour away.
Cupid loaded well; he backed off at first after getting his front feet up in the trailer but then walked up no problem. We'd been on the road almost half an hour and my trainer's truck (a big old Diesel F350) wasn't getting much power. She thought we should turn around but asked us. I said it's not worth blowing the transmission or getting stranded. So we turned back around, and I was ready to give up on the show. My trainer said we could still make our second test with my truck and trailer, just have my boyfriend drive the truck out to the barn since I drove my little car. The funny thing is I was going to drive my truck to the barn, "just in case trainer has car problems or something" - but then ended up driving my little car since the truck was low on fuel and "what are the odds anyways, trainer's never had car problems I'm sure it'll be fine." So we quickly transferred Cupid and all my gear into my trailer, and arrived at the showground right at 8:30.
Despite this being the longest trailer ride Cupid's been on in quite a while, with a weird reload midway through, he seemed pretty relaxed when we arrived. My trainer fixed some loose braids and started tacking him up while I checked in. The warmup was in an outdoor ring by the road. The footing was sand, and though it looked a little deep Cupid seemed to move well in it. Actually considering how cold it was (he can start pretty stiff when it's cold), he was moving quite nicely. It may be my imagination, but it does seem like the Back on Track blanket does help him! We had a nice warm up, and his focus was quite good. Quick walk, then right on to trotting 20 meter circles. We did some shoulder fore on the circle, then canter on the right lead. Back to some trot work, then canter left lead. We didn't get it the first try, but then did get it. We finished with some suppling exercises and stretching trot. Cupid was good with a few other horses in and around the arena, but he was a little distracted by one particular paint horse!
|Cupid is very gentle with my little niece|
|Poor guy's going to have curly hair for a few days!|