Well, it's done! We worked especially hard this month and Red did his first event today! I wish I could have given more updates along the way, but I'll give a brief run down of them now:
1.) We have been working a lot our dressage.
2.) I've been trying to put together random things at the house for him to jump to give him as much experience jumping new scary things as possible.
3.) Remembering to relax and have fun!
So today was the big day! I planned on getting there an hour before my scheduled 9:25 am ride time to let him see the sights and warm up. This was not nearly enough time and next time, I need to double it. We got there, unloaded, got registered, then realized 30 minutes were gone and my ride time was in 30 minutes! Crap! So quickly brush off the horse, quickly tack up, and by the time I got to the dressage arena, I had 10 minutes and I was riding a prancing giraffe. Well, crap. Looks like I'm going to spend this time walking and trying to calm him down, because he is plenty warm!!
The dressage test was nothing like what we practiced at home, but there were horses everywhere and this place was sooooooo exciting! Red wanted to see them all! He had good moments where he was collected and bending well, and other not so much moments. We didn't get our LEFT lead on the first try of all darn things, but got the right! When it was all said and done, I was very happy with him. He didn't spook at the judge's tower. He didn't spook at the huge white letters. And he listen to most of what I had to say, as long as it didn't get in the way of him looking at everything else around him, haha. After dressage, we were in 5th place of 8 riders.
So now it's time to prepare for the jumping phase. He jumps the warm-up jumps without hesitation, he is going great. He is listening, not too quick, just great. We get to the start and I want to watch a round and see what my course is because I didn't have time to walk it. Turns out it's just one big circle, easy enough. So we're getting ready to start and Red is prancing, trotting in place, just being crazy! He was ready to go!
So we go on course, jumps 1, 2, and 3 were great. Fence 4 was a coup that was elevated and Red did not understand what in the heck that was so he stopped. He popped right over it on the second try. Jumps 5 and 6 were great, and jump 7 was an up-bank, meaning he was jumping from a lower level of ground on to a higher level. Red has never seen anything like that before and stopped. And stopped. And finally he got it! Jumps 8 and 9 were good, and jump 10 was a large downhill jump. I was sure Red was going to stop but he flew over it and loved it. Obstacle 11 was water, which was another fear, he has never seen water before! He didn't even hesitate, it was great. Jump 12 ended a great run! I was so proud of his first go at this new sport.
I wasn't happy with all the stops, even though he did GREAT, he could do better, so I jumped a second round (which was optional, not judged) and he went all the way around without stopping once, it was great. He really ended on a good note! It was a good opportunity for him.
Well it turns out we finished in 4th place! How exciting! That was much better than I ever expected. I wanted him to see what this was all about and get the experience, so placing didn't matter, but he really did well. Good job, Red!!!