Faxx did very well at the HDS show today. It was HOT. He coughed a few times – more in the second test than the first. I think it was from standing in the dusty stall. It just irritated his already-irritated airways.
I had a real surprise when I got to the warm up area for my first ride. I arrived about 30 minutes before my 8:54 a.m. ride time, and the gate person said, “Everyone else in the class has scratched, so you’re next.” YIKES. Now, they can’t MAKE you ride earlier than your given time – but believe me, when you’ve got a judge and a scribe sitting, twiddling their thumbs in a completely empty arena, it’s a LOT of pressure to get in there ASAP! Fortunately, Faxx does not require a lot of warm up. I mainly wanted to check that ‘all systems were go’ – as far as taking contact, bending, and get a canter depart from both directions. I think I rode about 15 minutes early. He felt good – he had one little spook/scoot forward during a canter circle (could not figure out what scared him) but it was OK since he went FORWARD, it was just more energy. I thought it was a clean ride but didn’t leave the ring thinking “Wow, that was one of my best rides EVER!” They were incredibly quick with the scoring, and by the time I’d changed clothes, they had the results for the class. (Well, duh, since I was the last ride that made it easier.) I was pretty surprised and happy to see we’d gotten a 72.1!! There ended up being 5 in the class and we won it. My next ride was SIX hours later. I changed and hosed Faxx as quickly as I could and got over to the vendor area and donned my other hat – partner in Tailspun Jewelry. We make custom horsehair jewelry – mostly bracelets – and had a vendor booth at the show. You can see our work at www.TailspunJewelry.com We had a good day, with almost as much sales as we had at the dressage championships last fall.
The time flew with talking to Tailspun customers, and it did not seem like six hours had passed when we were up for Training 4. A full 1/3 of the original class of 18 ended up scratching – and again I got to the warm up ring being ‘next up’ even tho I was 20 minutes early. I warmed up a bit longer this time only because Faxx was really coughing and snorting and I wanted to give him a chance to clear his airways! We had an OK ride, but I knew it was not as good as the first ride. Some parts were better – I thought our entry/halts were better (those have been particularly challenging in the past) but at one point he really needed to cough and got a bit braced against me. We got a 69 on that ride, and again won the class. We may have won the amateur high score award ($150!) but won’t know for a few days, since they need to look at all the scores from all three arenas from today to make that determination.
So, Faxx finished the required 8 scores to compete for national USDF Awards and he is DONE at Training Level, with the exception of the Arabian/Half Arabian Sporthorse Championships next month in Waco, and the Region 9 USDF Championships in November.
And next week – Fling and Faeryn finally get back in regular work after two weeks off!