Road trip to IL again! This was going to be great! Hannah's breeder from Kaeson Farms (www.kaesonfarms.com), Kae was coming this weekend to watch us. I was really excited to see her again! We arrived to Lamplight Equestrian Center and unloaded the horses and all of our gear. We were stabled in one of the back barns which is nice and relaxing. We took the horses out for a hack all around the show grounds. On Thursday we did a dressage school to prepare for Friday's test. She was absolutely fabulous!
Friday rolled around and I prepared for my test. I braided Hannah and sketched squares on her flank. I mounted and walked up to the warm up rings. Her warm up was amazing! She felt great and I was ready to go in the ring. I dropped off my whip with a friend because in the FEI test you are not allowed to use a whip in or around the ring. We began our ride around the outside of the ring waiting for our whistle to be blown to enter the ring. Things fell apart as soon as we began around the ring. She felt stiff and against my hand and short in her stride. Well there wasn't any time to fix anything major so I just tried to supple her as much as I could and we entered the ring. After our test I gave her a pat and headed back to the barn to un-tack.
Saturday was an early start with earlier ride times we had to get going right away. I fed Hannah, took her for a short walk and groomed her. I tacked her up, studded her shoes and made sure we had all of our gear. I mounted and made the trek over, across the road to the XC course warm-up. She felt great, we both LOVE cross country! It is our turn to start out onto the course and we wait for the 3,2,1 go and gallop out of the box towards our first fence! She felt great and we were flying around the first part of the course. We went through the first water complex and gallop across a galloping path to the coffin. A barrel fence two strides to a ditch one stride to another barrel, perfect! Next up was a coop to either a long four or a short five up a bank one stride across the bank to a down bank and three strides to a skinny. My plan was to go for the long four, which in turn ended up being too long for her. She split her legs going up the bank and skidded on her knees across the top and a flipped off onto the bank and then off the other side. She stood at the top of the bank and waited for me to get up. Cindy Burke, a friend and trainer from Iowa ran over and threw me back up. We hopped down off the bank and jumped out over the skinny and galloped on. The rest of the course road perfectly. I was bummed we had that slip up but it was un-preventable at that point. (It was also nice to school the complex a couple weeks later at Young Rider camp with Jonathon Holling).
We were moved into last place with our fall but I was still happy with her! We walked back and untacked and I gave her a few treats which were well deserved. Now I had to walk the show jump course and boy was I ever getting sore. The soreness just kept creeping up on me! We all went out to dinner and I could barely walk, but I was determined to ride Sunday and finish my first CIC*.
The next morning came and I crawled out of bed, surprisingly less sore then the night before. I took some advil to tone it down even a little more and fed my horse. I took her out for a quick hack before the jogs. I got all dressed up for the jogs and was hoping that the judges wouldn't send ME to the holding box, I knew Hannah was just fine! I gimped down the jog strip and back and listened for the judge. "Liz Lund & Lady Hannah B, ACCEPTED" Great! I got through the jog and now we had to get through the course. The course was in the large arena and I hadn't ridden in here since last year when we had a stop in the show jumping. The course looked great, it looked large because at CIC and CCI events the show jumping is a level higher, so really it is intermediate show jumping measured at 3'9'' instead of 3'7''. We have done some 4' jumper classes so we were ready for the bigger course.
I headed back to the barn and had to get ready right away because I was in last, I was first to go for the whole day in the large arena! All eyes were on me to see how the course road. I warmed up and Hannah felt great. We entered the ring, saluted and heard the whistle. I picked up a forward canter and headed towards our first jump. The course was perfect! I have never had such a great show jump round, we found all of our spots perfectly and the lines rode great! I was one of the few double clean show jumping rounds and was very pleased with both Hannah's and my performances. Another great weekend filled with learning!