A beautiful day for a drive.
What could make a better back-drop than Ascutney Mountain? Here, Watson and I are on our way back. This is Phase C. We improved our pace timing heading home and got fourth place. We were slow on Phase A and got fifth place.
We were still so excited about being there, dressage was a blur. Watson and I never train for dressage in a regulation size ring so it felt huge compared to our ring at home. Like a rank beginner, we had all the predictable blunders starting right out with Watson not going too close X. Why after all would there be an evergreen brow smack in the middle of the ring? (It's often done so the judge can see X from their seat). About half way through the test, Watson finally figured out that we were doing something we had done before, just at a new place. He was great!
For Phase D, I chose a very simple route to go through the cones course. I knew I would have a very tired horse at this point and I was right. I didn't want too many tight turns, just a smooth track to go around the ring and to try and get through as many pairs of cones before our minute was up. My strategy proved to be a good one. We got fourth place and my horse got through the course with a positive attitude even though he wanted to quit.
Mentally and physically exhausted, we were done! Watson and I strengthened the bond between us and we both learned a lot. I pushed him harder than I ever had before and he gave me his all. We've had about 7 months together driving. This is a great beginning.