I only had one goal for Poplar: end with a number and get another qualification ride for the Heart of the Carolinas N3D.
Between work and Pax I had been so busy leading up to Poplar that I didn’t feel prepared in any sense of the word. Even arriving ended up being a mess after getting stuck on the freeway in bumper to bumper traffic and almost run off the road by a semi who hadn’t left himself enough room to stop and thought veering into my lane was a good idea. It was not. But thankfully we made it thru okay.
So you see, I was pretty sure this was going to be a shit show and I had decided to just not care.
It was definitely a surprise then that I got in the ring on Saturday morning for warm-up and had a compliant and obedient horse under me. The temperatures had dropped with a bitter breeze blowing through and usually Gus needs a warm-up the day before to get all the crazy out oh him but he got right to work. Was there maybe a chance that I wasn’t going to blow this show?
Turns out, no, there was not. As soon as we got into the ring, Gus went back to his old spooky self. It wasn’t an awful test but it was not fluid and it was not connected. I was battling pretty hard to maintain any sort of connection though I felt pretty good about the canter transitions and the down centerlines.
But Gus was looky and he was not with me. I knew we weren’t going to score well. We left the ring and I shrugged my shoulders. Sometimes it’s just not your day, right?
LT was pretty positive though. She had seen some good moments and was proud of how I rode to get through the sticky stuff. It wasn’t going to be my best score ever, but she still seemed hopeful.
I was the only one not surprised when I picked it up to find a 40.0. Basically 6’s across the board. Oh well, can’t please every dressage judge.