We had our second OUEA show of the semester at Pause-Awhile Equestrian close to Uxbridge, ON hosted by Laurier. For those unfamiliar with the OUEA, each school hosts one show per academic year, sharing the burden of running the shows. The shows culminate in a year end finals run by the OUEA in which both east and west zones meet. See here for more info http://www.ontariouea.org/about-us/. It is run in a format similar to the IHSA in the US, albeit quite a bit smaller geographically and in terms of number of divisions and participants.
As the distance to the show was quite far, I travelled to Waterloo Saturday night to stay with a team friend and eat dinner with the show team. From Waterloo we all carpooled at 5:30am to Uxbridge, I immediately passed out in the back after the mandatory Timmie's stop. We arrived to Pause-Awhile now bright, still early to claim a spot the the generously spaced heating viewing room (thank goodness as the temperatures were predicted to stay between -15 and -20 celsius without windchill!). We got our 'books' which tell the teams what the courses are, the order of go, and most importantly our draws.
I initially felt some hesitation with my draw, she is a lovely absolutely gorgeous athletic thoroughbred mare, but can occasionally be a bit spunky and knows how to use her athleticism to express her enthusiasm! Nothing scary but its nice to be able to add finesse when she is slightly quieter. It was my third time drawing her this season which is the limit, so my last chance on her this season. I had her previously over fences at the first Brock/Windsor show in the fall, and again at the Waterloo show on the flat. We had a great overfences result previously with a few short/ long distances and me getting bumped out of the tack, our flat had resulted in several excited swaps and a difficult to sit trot! I watched her warm up and was instantly relieved, she had her game face on and looked perfect going around with her warmup rider. I was slightly later in the order of go, which I was happy with as it gives you a chance to observe how the course is riding and watch another person or two on your ride. At previous shows this season I had been very early in the order and first on my horse so it was only a matter of time until my early streak would break! I watched her go twice before me, giving both her riders stellar trips. I left the safety of the cold to mount up and kept my jacket on as long as possible for entering the ring. I begged my captain to let my show in my snow pants and jacket to no avail. We relaxed in the chute before entering, and got tossed into the ring. Watch my round here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1O5sT6BeIAw&index=2&list=PLUNYVCr4TRuDBA3IVYMYAyTQ4fc73Cipm
I was super happy with our trip. Hard to tell from the angle but our last jump was a bit long, I didn't see much distance wise but as the perfect mare she is, she made it look decent. I played a bit of chicken with the wall to help us brake for the halt, but this resulted in swap. In hindsight I should have settled with a slightly less attractive halt to avoid the swaps. I adore this mare! She makes me feel like we could jump anything from anywhere safely, and just gives the loveliest feeling regardless of what is actually happening. We ended up 2nd with the winning trip also on this gorgeous mare! Because of her I was boosted into first over fences in the West Open division, and 6th overall!
Per usual my flat was a bit less stellar, I have perpetual difficultly placing in equitation flat classes due to my potato like riding image. In this case it involved a round cutie who I thought would provide a sofa type ride but instead we almost ran over the judge in the ring while crow hopping and spooking around the ring. At least I got some compliments on my stickability after sitting some high level (accidental) and haute ecole dressage movements! We had a test involving a counter canter, which cutie and I were able to perform successfully despite previous indicators. Despite being one of the few who succesfully counter cantered, I think the judge was offended about almost being bowled over (he actually was laughing). Occasionally it happens when the OUEA ponies are not out to play but we just do our best.
Moxie enjoyed the warm room all day with my teammates.
As a team we had some great moments today, also some not so great ones, but we all ended up celebrating our successes together.
We worked on some cheers and had great new signs!
I drive home was long but Mox and I made it back to London just before 8. Straight to bed hoping I can wake up for work tomorrow!