Before even leaving, Ransom was in "the zone". I successfully clipped bridle path, feet, nose, and even ears, without a twitch which I normally need. He was anxious as Romeo was out of sight, but with everyone lured back into their stalls with more hay, he calmed right down. Booted up great, and loaded sweet like he always does.
The trip to the show was uneventful. Light traffic, and no accidents to navigate. Jen met me part of the way and followed me. That made the big exit in Houston very easy - just flip on a turn signal, and look in my rear view mirror. She cleared the path, and made my way easy and effortless. Way to Go Jen!
We arrived, unpacked, and settled for the first class. There wasn't much time before the noon dressage equitation. I watched a few higher level tests, and some pretty awesome horse/rider pairs. Neat stuff, those upper levels are. Those ladies sure made the rides look effortless. My favorite thing in dressage has to be those UPhill flying changes. The horses were almost leaping up in front as they changed leads. Sweet!
Ransom dressed for equitation, and I tossed on some show clothes. We warmed up for about ten or fifteen minutes when Jen said to me, "The ring steward wants you outside the show ring now waiting." HUH?! Waiting out in the sun? Um, why? We weren't really warmed up totally yet. I had ridden him for almost the entire warm up in his twisted wire bit, then switched to the baucher just before she called for us. We barely had time to ride in it - uh oh!!
The judge was the same from the 07/19 show. I had determination. I wasn't going to get the "idjit bell", and I sure wasn't going to embarass myself again with a tense horse and a tense ride. I gave her a cheerful greeting as we entered the arena, smiling a "Good afternoon!" her way. I rode the entire arena rail, greeting the scribe as well. I was the only Adult Amateur in the class, so it was kind of a non-event I be in there. Two younger riders joined me.
It became clear part way through the class, they had little experience sharing the arena with anyone else. I giggled through it, and did my absolute level-best to not have a wreck. Ransom was great. He worked all his gaits real solid, and steady. A nice slow canter that was easy to plant my butt on his back for. The judge asked at the end, "I don't know if you guys can sit the trot, but if you're comfortable trying, this is a great time to do so."
I sat deep, and Ransom met me with a nice collected stride. Atta boy! *whew*
The ride was great. My seat is great. My position is great. I need to learn how to have a soft middle, but steady legs, and steady upper half. My whole body "wiggles like jello with his movements, and I need to only wiggle in the middle." Um.. Okay ....
We then enjoyed a five and a half hour break before warming up for TL1. Jen and I rested by her car, took brief catnaps, enjoyed watching other warmups, and mused to ourselves "It sure is nice having an older seasoned horse, 'cause we aren't spending hours lunging and working to get ready for the ring." We even got Ransom to eat his supper early before the tests began. He cheerfully plowed through half an apple and his grain. yahOO!