I have no idea how this nail got in my tire, it's not really on the driving surface??!! But good thing she noticed before it blew out on the freeway with Cupid in the trailer. And lucky I had plenty of time, so I could put my spare on. (Big thanks to my dad for teaching me how to change a tire!!) Once that was done I still had just enough time to finish braiding and still leave with plenty of time in case we got some traffic - luckily we didn't so we got to the showground about an hour before my first test.
We headed to the test arena, and as I was circled around it I kept Cupid to a walk as we passed the corner he spooked last time and the judge's booth, then picked up the trot. I thought the test was okay overall; Cupid was a bit tense but the geometry was good and transitions prompt, no errors. We got both leads correct and didn't break early, so I was happy about that! I left the arena feeling pretty good.
With over 1.5 hours to go, I untacked Cupid, sponged him off with cold water and scraped him, and found a shady spot to hang out. He was pretty content to eat hay and drank plenty of water. Since I was all alone the only show pictures I have are during this time.
|Braids turned out okay|
I gave us about 20 minutes in the warm up. Cupid actually had a bit more energy. Our warm up routine was similar just a bit shorter than the first time. Cupid did try to break into a canter from the trot a few times, so I ended with doing transitions between the trot and walk on a large circle to get him listening.
Cupid was a bit exuberant during the test. He did break into a little canter when we were supposed to be trotting, but came back down quickly. We did manage to get all the transitions in the correct places, and again got the leads correct though it felt like Cupid lept into the canter a little, and did a mini half-buck at one point. (Note to self to schedule a chiro visit for him - I think it was more from excitement but he feels due anyways.) Overall it felt a bit more mixed; clearly there were anxious moments but there were some good moments too when he relaxed a bit. The stretchy trot felt good, and I tried to push him a bit more in the free walk.
Despite a few exuberant displays it was actually fun, I felt good about it and was happy I decided to stay. I was first to go in my class, and decided not to wait over an hour for the class to finish and get my test sheet. I check my score online and it was still terrible, though slightly above the first test which I was a little surprised about since we did have a few naughty moments. A few positive takeaways:
-Finally, I didn't feel nervous beforehand! The last few shows I wasn't sure if it was pregnancy or show nerves making me feel a bit nauseous, but I felt fine.
-I still need to work on keeping my shoulders/upper body back, but I am getting much better keeping my butt in the saddle. I made a conscious point to check in with myself on this and make sure I can feel the saddle.
-Cupid can handle the heat, when he wants!
-Even if Cupid is a bit excited, he (probably) won't do anything too terrible (though our scores might be). But my confidence has improved a lot, and I feel a lot more secure taking him new places.
I am hoping to do a 2 day show next month, which may be it this year for Cupid and me. I might do a schooling show before that, and since it's local maybe have my coach come to that so she can see how we've been doing in a show environment and help me improve.