Today was the day the one I've been looking forward to and dreading in equal measures... Our dressage re-debut. I say re-debut as we had a few outings together prior to him going lame but nothing particularly consistent - although we had always been in the ribbons.
First hurdle with Buddy is to actually get him on the lorry. We had a slight issue (ha ha) and he was a bit of a knobber to load. We were cutting it close and I was starting to think we might not make it but at the very last moment Buddy decided going to a party might be a nice idea so off we went.
I had chosen a small, low key venue for our first outing and it was the place I first took Buds to so I was happy we'd not have a meltdown. The major let down is that the car park is incredibly stoney and as he'd been slightly footie I was worried we'd go gimping across the car park but, as usual, Buds surprised me and stomped off towards the warm up!
|Posing for the camera (note the stony car park)|
It was soon time for us to go in. The indoor they use can be pretty spooky and it has a open gallery where the judge sits but it is also a canteen so you often get people stomping up the stairs halfway through your test. Buds did tense up a bit but soon relaxed after a trot round and the bell rang and off we went.
I smiled my biggest smile and was enjoying every second. Buddy jumped the light on the floor in our first 20m circle which made me chuckle and then the bell rang.. I'd forgotten to do my walk for a horse length. Bugger! Went back, carried on - was pleased with my 1/2 10m circles - and whilst I internally congratulated myself I missed my second 20m circle. Arse! You'll be glad to hear we finished the rest of the test with no more errors and although he lacked a bit of energy I was so pleased with my donkey. He tried really hard and I couldn't have asked for more. As we'd had a couple of errors and the class was pretty large I wasn't planning on hanging round for my sheet so got Buds untacked and into his travel gear ready for the journey home.
Well, usually Buds is pretty good at loading to come home... Notice how I say usually... Hmmm the little swine enjoyed the party so much he didn't want to come home. So after over an hour of trying he realised we weren't giving up so decided to load. He was a proper knobber!
But that did mean the class had ended and I could pick up my sheet. I crept up the stairs and mine was the last sheet. There was a rosette.... A blue one. It was our rosette....
We only went and came second!! With almost 67%. I promptly burst into tears... What a journey we have been on and less than three months after coming home from Rockley we were back at a competition which, for me, was more than I'd hoped for but to actually be competitive and beat some pretty smart horses (without my errors we would have won) was just outstanding.
I cried all the way back to the lorry - Buddy was forgiven for being a knobber - and I felt like I'd won the lottery.. And then some!