Hail the conquering heroes! The Red Hots really stepped it up on Day 2. Ella was much hotter in the warm-up, her normal tight, squirrely self, which presents its own challenges, but they’re ones I’m well-acquainted with. I got her really quite supple and in pretty darn good self-carriage, and it stayed with me all through the trot and the collected walk work. She fell apart in the extended walk and got a little labored in the canter, but for the most part the test was really lovely and uphill and much better to the bridle than Saturday’s test. The score was about the same, but the overall quality was much improved.
Midge was still a bit of a mook, spooking at C in a rather flamboyant fashion a few times, but he kept a much better lid on his natural enthusiasm and won his class with almost a 69 percent. I’m still not getting the thoroughness I want from him, either at home or in the ring—he’s both incredibly powerful behind and very short coupled, so to keep all that power going up and through such a small amount of back requires a lot of elasticity and balance, both of which he lacks at the moment.
I have to keep reminding myself—he’s only 7! The world is our oyster. And he does know how to get the world’s attention—I get more compliments on him than anything else I ride. Sometimes I wonder if Ella and Cleo get a little jealous.
While my posse ended up with three high-point ribbons (and kudos to CDCTA—they give stellar ribbons!), the real star of the show as far as I’m concerned was my mom. A very timid rider, my mom has some big time horse-show-fear issues. She rode her butt off on Saturday, but on Sunday she really knocked it out of the park. She kept Tres moving forward, active and uphill, even at the canter—not the easiest task—and was rewarded with a blue ribbon and a 64 percent. Hoorah! And congrats, Mom! You’re the best, and you deserved it!
Back to the grindstone. Cleo’s been making really super progress in the passage, and I’ve gotten some awfully good transitions into and out of piaffe. We have the last of my Fix-A-Tests this coming Sunday, then a clinic with Scott Hassler, which I’m looking forward to—it’s been a while since I last had some help from the ground. I hope he’s as pleased with my horses as I am!