Wow. Another day done. After some steak tacos and chardonnay at TakoSushi, I am ready to write about the day I had.
So, the princess went off to her two phase at Sporting Days. I have to say, I love going to this schooling show, everyone there is so friendly and helpful. Tom runs the dressage rings and he has talked me down from the rafters when I lost my number and this year offered to lay down the ring letters since the wind was picking up. The footing in Aiken is already famous. All of this combines to a nice day.
Her dressage was nice. She was a bit preoccupied with someone screaming for her from the trailers (I don't think they were even with our barn, that hussy), but she did get to work like a pro. 35.5, achieving our goal of improving on our 36.7 in October. The judge wasn't the kindest, either, so I'm very proud of her.
After that we pretty much went straight to jumping. Unfortunately that meant I had a front row seat to watch another rider come off and hit hard. My heart was dropping fast after that. I went down that hill, reminding myself to breathe over and over again as I walked into the jumping field. Who knew a Beginner Novice course could look that big? I started to trot and someone screamed for Fiona, setting her attention outside of the ring (I repeat, hussy). This had disaster written all over it.
Lo and behold, the little girl went to work when I pointed her at her first fence. She marched around the course, cantering over the fences and giving me no trouble. She made all of her distances. Rumor has it that my course was recorded, and that everyone could hear me calling out my strides on related distances, punctuated by a lot of 'good girl, Fiona!'. I walked out grinning like a fool and petting her neck. There were no words for how proud I was. That course was like nothing she had seen, with gates and fill and hard turns. When we got to the end and I cantered toward the exit gate, she was tugging at the bit and wanting to know where the next jump was.
Tomorrow is a dressage lesson and another cross country school. After the last two days, I'm ready to go. I want to go jump the Beginner Novice fences, I want to open her up and see what she can do. I've been having a major crisis of confidence and faith for the last couple months, but you know what? That was fun, and tomorrow will be fun, too. My little girl is all grown up now.