After a wild night’s partying in Kerry to celebrate my best friend’s birthday, we got up early this morning and headed back to Cork so I could take Flurry to the dressage show in Skevanish.
After three days of non-stop downpours, my paddock was an ocean of mud – just the sort of stuff Flurry loves to coat himself with. I put a light rug on him on Saturday in the hopes of keeping him clean for Sunday morning. My hopes were crushed, however, when we drove past our paddock and I saw that he was wearing his rug around his neck, leaving his body exposed to the joys of rolling.
An hour of serious mud-scraping ensued, using the invaluable “American Curry” that we bought in France.
I had already decided that he was going unplaited – after a late night and with limited time, I had no intention of torturing myself by attempting to plait his wild & unpulled mane. I figured I could point to his Connemara ancestry and say that I should be allowed present him in his “natural state” (which would actually mean “covered in muck”).
We hit the road exactly an hour and a half after arriving home and arrived at Skevanish half an hour later – pretty good going, I have to say. There had been a couple of last minute cancellations, which left quite a gap in Prelim 14, so I decided to push on and warm up straight away so I could go early.
Flurry felt a little on his toes, but behaved impeccably in the warm up. Before I knew it, it was time to go in….
|Warming up outdoors
…and I’d forgotten to allow myself time to sit and do a final mental run-through of the test.
I didn’t actually realise this until I turned down the centre-line to start and I went “Oh sh*t. Hope I know this…”
I seemed to! It all went great. Trot work was good, we got mostly sevens,
canter transitions could have been better, though.
I felt balanced on him, he felt steady in my hands but not heavy.
We finished our last canter, came past the judge at C and headed across the diagonal…. and my brain screamed “NO! YOU’VE GONE WRONG” so I stopped and said “I’ve gone wrong, haven’t I?”
No I hadn’t! Arrgh! I added a two point penalty for no reason! We came down the centre line to finish up, I was riding “positively” to try to make up for my error, and I rode him forwards to a nice halt.
|Down the Centre Line…
Damn, I thought, he’s crooked, and tried to straighten him. Judge’s comment “Overcorrected halt.” Grrrr. <Smacks Head>
|Fer goodness sake, Mum, I’m standing square!
Our final score? A Personal Best of 65% WITH a mistake! We’re half-way to being qualified for the National Championships! Very excited!
Once Flurry was tucked away in the horsebox with his haylage, I got stuck into scribing for the rest of the day. The LSH (who was on duty as photographer) took Flurry home shortly after we’d finished, and I got a lift home later on.
Home unfortunately had the crashing down-side of the roller-coaster waiting for me. Aero had gone from being absolutely fine in the morning to profoundly lame, barely weight-bearing on his left fore. There’s a bit of heat in his hoof, which points towards an abscess, but there’s also a teeny bit of swelling on the inside of his tendon. I’m praying the swelling is from infection in the foot and that he hasn’t pulled a tendon.
His hoof is all poulticed up, and I’ll see how he is in the morning. Poor baby is most unimpressed at being stabled all by himself.