This past week my little family suffered a huge loss. He was a huge supporter of all the things we do and was a silent cheering squad in the background, always asking how we had done, how many in our class and any other relevant information. I am pretty sure he envisioned I was at the Olympics every time (even if I was only showing training level at a local schooling show) and was as proud of us as anyone could be. Considering his eyesight was almost non-existent at the end, and well, Covid, he did not attend many shows the last few years so the last show he would have been at would have been Miss H at an FEI level. Which at least is closer to what he envisioned we did than we are doing now.
Regardless of sadness and loss, life moves on for the living and we have to figure out our new place in the world without the physical presence of our loved one.
We had signed up long before the somewhat sudden loss and we were going to attend this fun summer show. A 2 day Summer Classic (replacing the previously held Senior Classic - which I only just qualify for now age wise!) at the amazing local facility I love to show at and visit. Our show 2 weeks prior (see previous blog entry) acted as our warm up, although I learned a nice lesson about maybe attending warm up days more often in the future.
This blog makes it look a bit like Mav is always show ready. Always clean and perfectly presented. This is nowhere near the case. I arrive one of the show mornings to find this.
Mav still in bed and not looking like he is ready to face the day yet.
Yet an hour later, here we are at the show grounds basically ready to enter the show ring!
There is also a rare picture of Super Husband in front of the camera with his "little buddy" Mav, wearing one of his Top Gun related shirts!
I can't decide if Mav looks smaller next to him, or if looking at these pictures together makes me look tiny. Perspective is everything, but I am decidedly not a tall person.
I did not attend warm up the previous day. Mav has a great memory, apparently he can memorize everything in an arena and he knows when there is something new. Today there were two new things. Flowers at the entrance and a new sponsor sign on the wall. Weirdly, there were additional new signs he did not notice, but I have decided to ignore that for now. Maybe his memory is selective, like all of our memories.
You can see that he decides avoiding the dangerous sign is the best option, but he is trying to do as I ask of him. Thankfully, I see this coming and manage to hold the lead by using significant inside leg. I think the comment was "loss of balance", it should probably have read "scared of sign"
I am not going to go through the entire tests today. Saturday was a good test, but not clean. He pooped in the corner and then had a loss of balance into the lengthen trot immediately after (fair enough) and apparently I have been working too hard on my canter - walk transitions, as he walked instead of trotted 🤦♀️.
I am happy with my change of canter lead diagonal this time and I am thrilled at how much better my elbows look (Thanks Amazing Coach!) and how much better I am using my body. Although I can see I lose my seat in the transition, so there is another huge thing to work on!
We managed second place on Saturday and our score of 65.19 held up well against the majority of the day (freestyles excluded). There were something like 13 rides in my class that day (you can ride the test twice if you like and both scores count towards ribbons - I rode once), so I was thrilled with second place!
Why do I only ride one test a day? Possibly carryover from Miss H. She did not have the best stamina in the world, and at upper levels you only ride one a day regardless. When I started back showing with Mav, I did not have the fitness to do two. I can blame Covid, losing Miss H and mental health issues from that, or whatever cosmic issue you choose, but the bottom line is I was all out to do one test a day. Now I could do more. Mav could do more. But I want showing to be fun for him. I want it to be fun for me. Could I maybe improve on things with a second test? perhaps. But I could also go the other way. I choose to do one a day and I have been happy with that decision.
13 rides again on Sunday in my class. I was at the beginning. I pushed a little in this test again. More trot (still not enough, but at least it is not running!).
Leg yields I tried for bigger. Into the circle from the yield I tried to keep his balance better. I was happy with the outcome.
Lengthen canter I went for, then I couldn't really get him back, but ended up in a nice canter so I decided to keep it.
Change of lead through trot was much better than last time. Not perfect, but also happy with it!
One of our canter serpentines gave us an 8!
The dreaded stretchy trot. Saturday it was meh. Sunday I at least got a couple steps of actual stretch starting to happen. Received a 7 on it. Call that a Win.
We were 3rd on Sunday with a 71.39. BUT, our two scores combined (they take your two highest scores and combine them. I only rode two so they use them both) gave us the Championship. AND a nice high score age award (45-54!).
Mav modelled some of the amazing prizes including an Ekadron Cooler from Sponsor DogNPony Shop, and some really nice Purple Boots and bell boots (and fly bonnet) from Los Muertos Tack. They have some great colours available! We are buying the hinds so we have a matching set of course. He also got a beautiful saddle pad from High Point Equestrian Ctr!
I feel like I am soaking this win in. Appreciating the hard work that goes in to developing this horse, and myself, and how I am so grateful for the shows and everyone who works to put them on. I am also grateful for life in general. It moves so fast I think I need to occasionally slow down and enjoy the moment.
This win is special, and goes to a great man who always showed kindness and support in every way possible and would be cheering from the sidelines if he were still here today. We will miss him. The world will miss him.
It was a great way to end the season for us. There are still shows I could go to, but neither of us needs that right now. We will take the scores we have earned and call it a year. Moving on to other tests and things to focus on. And I can finally let him do all the changes he wants to (for a little while at least)!
final picture is from the talented Divineequine.ca and video was done by Cathy Rose!