Let’s cut to the chase because I know you are all wondering: Gus and I rocked stadium. No joke, we owned that course. Okay, not really, there were places with issues but you would have never known that just two weeks ago I was seriously wondering what was so “fun” about this whole ordeal.
But I got into warm up and felt good. Probably being at Poplar helped since we have shown there quite a bit but also I really do think we both learned a valuable lesson at Sporting Days. I wasn’t the only one who rode hard to the fences, Gus was actually taking me there. He felt springy and happy and excited.
Super trainer, LT, and I had walked the course the day before when it was set for the Intermediate course. They took out several jumps and combos by the time they got to Beginner Novice so we walked it again when it was set at Novice. This course was all about testing whether or not you can ride a corner and keep your horse powered through that corner. A lot of fences came down at all heights due to this.
I was actually feeling pretty good though about the course because powering through the corner is something LT and I have been working on at home A LOT! Also, we ride and jump in basically a dressage arena so making these types of turns are second nature to us.
After a spectacular warm up, we rode right into the course and had an awesome round. I had to push a little bit to the first two fences as the switch from plain warm up fences to brightly colored and decorated jumps backed Gus off just a bit. But he was willing and by fence three, was raring to go again.
Because we rode so late in the day (I don’t think we actually got into the ring until almost 6:00 pm), there were a lot of jumps with light/dark questions. I made sure I rode hard to those because I didn’t want a stop over something silly.
And Gus handled everything like a champ. No rails, no time. We marched out of there so happy. Best of all, we both had a blast!
We have really been struggling with stadium recently but I think this trend of good sessions has really helped us find our footing again. I have to thank LT for that because I don’t know what would have happened to us without her. She has been so supportive and knew just the right exercises to get us both feeling confident again. I know she was riding every step out there with us and that she was just as excited for us to cross the finish flags.