Can't argue with an 81%, even if it is on a walk trot test. It was a really nice ride and Theo did a good job handling the fact that we were in an indoor with lots of mirrors.
I thought he was going to be bratty and try to go home. I wasn't prepared for genuine fear when he trotted into the field full of cross country jumps. It was overwhelming to him, coming over a rise and seeing a very crowded jump field in front of him. He wanted to go home right now and I could feel his heart beating through the saddle. While trying to get to #2, he actually spun out from under me and I had to bail. Since I landed on my feet, it was only 65 penalties and Trainer A gave me a leg up to continue. By fence 3, he was starting to get the idea. By fence 5, he was starting to rock and roll. We ended the ride by jumping the last and cantering through the flags with his ears pricked and my barn mates cheering.
Not our prettiest ride and we sure didn't do well in terms of time, but it was his very first completed cross country. Last time he wouldn't finish even with a lead. This time, he did it all on his own.
Theo was so happy to get to stadium. It's his favorite phase and he marched around like a packer. He didn't bat an eyelash at anything and it was a calm, organized, pretty round. I cantered over the last and was so happy we finished with a score on the board. It was a big achievement for mi papi and a good way to end the season.
For the record, we got second place. Out of two.
He actually seemed to enjoy himself once we were going, so I'm willing to give it another shot next year. A different venue might work better for him, since he was overwhelmed by the crowded jumping field and that's not something that would happen at a lot of places. It would be worth a try.
I promised him a set of real cross country boots and a new jump bridle if he completed today. I guess I've got some shopping to do this winter.