With Katchi watching the trailer pull out this morning without him (he was SO SO sad and was definitely pouting when I tried to say hello tonight!) - Adrianne and Tori, Kerry and Atticus, and I were off to Full Moon Farm for the last of the flurry of unrecognized-type events of the year. Both ladies were finishing off the season with a move-up; Adrianne to Novice and Kerry to Beginner Novice.
When we arrived, we ran up to show jumping for a quick walk before the first horses came on course - looking at the map to orient ourselves, it hit me - I know this course. Hum, I think, really? Yep, this is the exact same course as Waredaca's October recognized horse trial. Sort of ironic that I got lost TWICE on that course - in the middle of my ride - yet, I take one look at it a month later on paper, and I know it. Can someone shoot me now?
And then the show began with an excellent start for Adrianne in dressage. Kerry was up next - and the devil pony arrived. Not Atticus - but a real devil pony! At least that's what Atticus said. I was trying so hard to help Kerry, but I just couldn't stop laughing - so I abandoned Kerry for a few seconds to catch this video clip. See, it really was a devil pony?! It even had a red bow in its tail - its rider had a matching red bow. Does that mean she kicks too?? I mean seriously, devil-possession aside, is this not the cutest thing ever?!
Anyhow, back to the show - at the risk of spoiling the ending... Adrianne kicked butt, leading her division from start to finish and taking home a pretty blue ribbon and Dover gift certificate! Kerry also kicked (all but one) butt - sitting in 2nd from start to finish and taking home a pretty red ribbon and a Dover gift certificate too!
But the best news was not only that both ladies rode like stars - they learned a lot too!
1. The value of forward: We've been working through some issues with Tori hopping and skipping (and much worse!) mid-course for no apparent reason. Adrianne is really getting the hang of dealing with that FORWARD, and it brought her great success today!
2. The value of sitting back: Almost eating your horse's ears when they take an extra look at the ditch - is no good. I bet Adrianne will never take another ditch for granted!
3. Jumping down hill is easy if you let the horse come all the way to the base of the jump.
1. Atticus is an event horse: This was his second event, and he's figured out this is fun! Which made dressage a bit more challenging as Atticus was already thinking XC! He'll figure it out, but today was tough - and Kerry definitely had her hands full (and that little devil pony did not help!). But, wow, when he hit that XC course - he was a machine! Yea, he's figured this out!
2. Don't pull back going to a jump up hill, especially when the horse is slowing down! I think I was momentarily possessed by that mean little Australian (P Dutty!), because, gee, - there I was yelling at Kerry for just the same thing Phillip yelled at me for exactly a week before! And didn't I feel like a schmuck seeing how blatantly obvious the problem was when you're standing on the ground! Good thing Kerry learned the lesson fast as we were about out of warm-up time!
3. The value of sitting back: I'm detecting a theme here. I guess sometimes you just have to learn it for yourself and then kick yourself a little for being told not to do it in the first place!
Anyhow, it was a great way to end the season - always lots to work on, but also so nice to end the season being really proud of everything you've accomplished over the course of a year!