So the weekend was a great success! Not quite a smashing success -- that would have required three blue ribbons -- but successful nonetheless. Bullet points, because I'm at work:
* I learned a LOT listening to Karen O'Connor -- both technically and about the temperament of the highest-level competitors/clinicians. I got so much out of her lessons, even if they're over our heads at the moment.
* Jumped my first "vertical" -- a brushbox. No problem. Stephanie says it was 2'3, I think it was pushing it to be 2'. :)
* Jumped my first grid, a 1 stride to a 2 stride setup. Had some difficulty until I remembered to SIT DOWN before the fences. I'm learning ... :)
* Did well on Intro A, though I got a mark I didn't think I deserved (a 3 for a good transition, only late? I can see a 4, but ... ah well. I are not a judge.). Good enough for a win on the test class, but only 3rd in the Intro division. Still, I <3 ribbons. They get me through dark days when I hate my riding and my horse. ;)
* Had problems on Training 1, because Rev stopped on centerline to poop. :/ That got me flustered and stressed, and then the rest of the test was inconsistent. Though we did get a comment of "some really nice moments to watch," which is encouraging. Didn't place, not by a looooong shot, in the Training category, but that's expected and totally okay.
* Jump round went well -- the warmup area left something to be desired, but was okay. We had a stop at a crossrail made of 1x8 planks painted black and white in this pattern: <<<<>>>>. I knew when I walked the course that that fence would be a problem, and I was really positive going in, but apparently not positive enough, since she stopped. On the other hand, she stopped dead center on the fence, so at least I had a good line going into it ... :) I kicked her butt over the fence the second time, and we finished with just that one stop. When we were done, I asked if I could school that fence a few times, seeing as it was a schooling show, and the judge said yes. So we did. She kept running out left, until the judge (a friend) helped me a little ... we got over the fence, but I didn't feel confident in her advice. I took a second schooling round over the whole course, and as I rode my circle before the whistle, I had a DUH! moment: she's running out left. So use your left leg, dummy! Sheesh. So I did. And she popped right over it. :) The second course ride went much, much better. :)
* Ended up in second place, even with a stop. Woot. :)
* Lots of riders on the show day seemed to have forgotten everything KOC said and made a lot of mistakes -- can't throw stones, since I had a stop myself, but there was one fence that was causing a LOT of riders to drop rails. I think, in my oh-so-vast wisdom, that they were just not on a good line, not getting enough strides in before the fence, and didn't have the impulsion they needed to get over it. I don't recall if the fence had a groundline or not, but I seem to think it didn't, from my course walk. Hm. I didn't have a problem at it, but then again, it was only 20 inches high for me. I wonder how I'd have ridden it if it were higher, whether I'd have had a problem.
* My friend who gave me a ride took a nasty spill and ended up with a mild concussion, but is okay now. We'll see how things develop.
More later, most likely. :)