My first rosette of the year
Thursday dawned the hottest day of the year so far. Dad and Other Dad came to the yard at 8.15 and kitted us up in out travelling wear - boots, tail guards and light rugs. We boarded the lorry and were off by 8.45.
The journey to Solihill wasn't too bad despite the rush hour traffic and all the mothers in those 4 x 4's. We parked close to the main building, unloaded well and were tacked up. Then both Dads changed into competition wear.
We had a good 40 minutes to warm up. I felt more comfortable in my drop cheek snaffle on the elevator bridle and it went reasonably smoothly, although we practised mostly in walk - leaving the trot to take care of itself. We were about third on in the Open section at 10.25 and did our test in the main arena -which seems very large when you're all alone with only the judge and her writer looking at you from in their little glass-fronted box.
The test went reasonably well. I was fairly soft in walk and stuck my nose out a bit in trot. The walk on a long rein and two 10 metre half circles went particularly well (mark of 8) and Dad was very pleased, especially given the trouble we had over the last few days with bits.
Since it was so hot, we went back to the lorry and removed my saddle and Dad changed out of his jacket, hat and breeches and we walked back in hand. Other Dad then schooled Dibbs prior to his Prelim 16 on the outdoor surface. I just stood in the corner watched what was going on, ate the odd extra strong mint and talked to Dad.
We then went outside and watched Dibbs do his test. Apart from one or two minor errors, he did the test very well and Other Dad was pleased too. We then both went back to the lorry and were tied up with a large haynet to relax whilst results were awaited.
Dad and Other Dad were very pleased that we came fourth in the Open Walk and Trot with 63.2% . We had the same number of marks -139 - as the rider in third place, but she had a few more collective marks. The judge said I was a lovely obedient horse with nice free paces but that Dad needed to relax and show the paces off more. She advised him to get me softer in the mouth and over the top line to gain better marks. If only she had known what we've been through over the past few dauys to achieve the softness we actually managed!
Dibby's score were even better and he achieved 68.5%. The judge said he was a super chap working well at this level.
We went home by 1.30 or so. Since we were warm, they washed us down and put us out to graze with some fly spray - and Dibb's first sun cream of the season. We stayed out until 5.30 and then came in to be groomed and given our tea. We were both pleased we our successful day. Don't let anyone tell you that cobs don't enjoy winning rosettes.