As the actual competition got underway for Stable View, I was faced with my worst nightmare: the rising humidity.
Dressage was okay. It was early enough in the morning that it hadn’t gotten too bad yet though it was already pretty hot. My trainer is a stickler for the coat too. Even on one days. Even in the heat.
But our test was simply the best we’ve ever ridden. The courts were on grass but Gus is pretty sure footed and didn’t have a step wrong.
He was consistent and connected through the whole test. And while maybe we weren’t as brilliant as some, we were steady.
We got our lowest score of 33.75.
Then it was on to stadium where I was really starting to wilt under the heat. My trainer had to run from dressage warm-up to get to my stadium warm-up and usually I would have been hard at work getting prepared so that we could start jumping the minute she got there. But I felt like I was going to throw up so all I was doing was walking around the huge covered arena. Somehow, I got through warm-up and headed to the ring.
Gus put in another wonderful round for me.
These were probably some of the most brightly painted and decorated jumps that we had seen all summer and Gus was a little looky. But even when I got him to the jump with a bad temp or distance, he gamely popped over everything.
I think we had a rub on one fence but luckily everything stayed up.
And then, the minute I got out of the ring, I just about fell off my horse from heat exhaustion. LT grabbed Gus’ reins and dragged us back under the covered where I slid off and tore my helmet off. I wasn’t wearing a coat for stadium (since I had about 20 minutes to high tail it down to XC) but even still I was dying. Luckily I had LT, Eric, and my team mates mom helping me get my head back together, walk Gus, get my XC gear on, and get to the start box.
I didn’t even have a XC warm-up, just let Gus stick his head in the water bucket and found enough adrenaline to get through XC.
Once I was on course, I forgot about the heat and humidity. Stable View’s XC was big and fun.
The first half was open and gallopy, asking questions that related more to up and down terrain.
The water was no problem for Gus and I, though I saw a LOT of the juniors having issues at this.
We had some major fuck ups because I thought Gus was going to go and he really considered saying no.
Or because I just didn’t have enough leg towards the end. I was running out of steam and so was Gus.
When we came off course, I suddenly realized how hot and tired I was. If you watch the video all the way through you’d probably think I was dying. I promise I’m not that unfit, it was just beyond hot and humid. Gus and I headed to the nearest water tank. He got to drink, while I slid off him and unbuckled his girth.
And then, I had to dunk my head in too.
Stable View was such an amazing event. It is not for the raw beginners at a level but if you feel confirmed or you are testing to see if you are ready to move up, I think this is definitely a great spot. All the volunteers and staff were beyond helpful, the grounds were beautiful, and you can tell they really want their venue to be a premier eventing location.
Gus and I squeezed out a 6th place in our division and a Reserve High Point for BN OTTBs. I am hoping we will be going back in January where things won’t be nearly as hot!