Did you know that a 10th place ribbon is light blue?! I love my 10th place ribbon!
I was so tickled with Katchi at MCTA yesterday, even if the scoreboard looks less than fabulous. Jimmy always says, "any number is better than any letter", and after letters at the last 2 events (WD at Loch Moy last October, due to vet issues I wasn't cleared to jump but couldn't get any money back so just rode dressage; and the infamous hind-boots R at CDCTA) - I was super happy to have a number this time around!
A dressage friend of mine just shared this with me: Good, better, best...never let it rest until good is better and better is best.
We have work to do for better is best, but the good was great and the bad was less bad and less often. That definitely means we're headed in the right direction.
Katchi sat in 3rd after dressage - I came out of the arena laughing at how all the lengthenings seemed to fall on the downhill side of the arena! Each direction, and the diagonal! All downhill! Is that even physically possible - where is a topographic map when you need one?
Show jumping was my demon for the day. And watching horrendous ride after horrendous ride did not settle me. Thank you to Sharon White and Jennie Brannigan for actually having nice rides before my round - I needed those more than they did! In passing, Sharon told me not to worry, the course was perfect for me - "know it, ride it, live it." 3 rails down was not exactly fabulous - but 3/4 of the course jumped perfect. Now to just fix that other 1/4 - but, in watching the video, even the ugly wasn't that ugly. What a relief.
And then it was XC time - woo hoo! Katchi hasn't run a XC course since September, and he must have been the happiest horse at the event! He was a dream, in everything except where he wasn't! Those stupid 1-stride stone walls were just about as icky as I thought they would be (but I did not end up slammed against the second one!) - yes, I did a quick circle to gather ourselves up before heading into the line. Didn't help. I know I scared the jump judges. We very nearly took out the flags on the right. But, good boy Katchi for being so honest - putting 2 strides into a short 1 stride (AGH!) and still managing to jump the jump. No hope of going prelim until we get that kind of crap under control, but at least he was honest and gave it a go. And I wasn't wrong about the huge green produce stand (pictured in post below) - Katchi thought it was huge too! At 4 strides out, I suddenly felt like I was on a cutting horse. Apparently the grass path both to the left and right of the jump looked like much better options to Katchi. He cut to the right in one stride. Then he cut to the left on the next stride. And I just sat right in the middle, trying to channel Lucinda Green's tube wrapping my legs, knees, seat, hands and eyes, right around Katchi and tunnelled him right to the jump in the last 2 strides. And he jumped it beautifully! Katchi was such a dramatic baby at the log into the water - I think he felt a bit silly when he realized how simple it was. But, that's okay - he went. The best jump on the course for us were 2 logs on a bending line through a very narrow gap in the trees - the first was up hill, then the ground cut away hard to the right downhill - to a big fat log, landing downhill too. Couldn't have ridden better - Lucinda would have been so proud! And then I had a bobble at the trakahner which cost us 20. Katchi jumped the ramp coming up to it great, but I just didn't have enough time to get the canter I should have had for the trakahner. I really thought the log was so big that he wouldn't see the ditch and he'd just go. I should have known better - he saw it and stopped. He took a good look, decided it was okay, and almost went from a stop. I told him no, lets go around and do this better than scrambling over the top. He jumped it on the second go without batting an eye. Shame on me for not giving him the ride he needed there. Katchi was perfect at the turning bank complex, and galloped home a star in my eyes, even if the scoreboard didn't give him the fame he deserved.
As a consolation, I was thrilled to learn that Abby of the Sandpiper Diary won our division! She was stunned that she won with 2 rails down in show jumping - but that just goes to show how much the rest of us mucked up! No win is ever undeserved, and I was thrilled to see the real blue ribbon go to someone who has been working so hard. Honestly, I think Katchi and I were just as happy with our light blue ribbon! Now its back to work until good is better and better is best!
And a huge thank you to Kerry, my groom for the day who kept Katchi and me well hydrated and as cool as possible - although that wasn't very possible. Wow, it was HOT. What happened to all that snow we had this winter??