Quoth Bart Simpson: DOH!
Cleo warmed up like a champ, came down centerline like a star; nailed the trot, first passage-piaffe-passage (including the BEST passage I’ve ever made on her in the ring, EVER), and walk tours, then picked up the canter.
And we bungled the half-pass zig zag. And the first pirouette. And the ones, in a most flamboyant and expressive way. And then had a beautiful final extended trot, perfectly adequate final piaffe-passage centerline, and halt.
In short: nailed all the stuff I’ve been sweating, and made mistakes in movements I’ve NEVER made mistakes in before!
The kicker is that I don’t really know what happened – rider flub? Horse resistance? Inclement weather? Or just bad luck today?
Whatever happened, this is what I know: I know my horse gave me the best passage I’ve ever had from her in the ring. I know that I rode her forward and bold and uphill, and I know I took risks in the extensions that paid off. I know that she can—and will, on Saturday—nail those changes and put in the test I know we can put in. I know that my 11-year-old horse, in her sixth Grand Prix-level test, ever, stayed with me through most of the test in appalling weather.
And I know that this is only the beginning!