So I was able to get three amazing lessons with Betina Hoy – Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning. She was fabulous to work with and I think had a lot to do with how well the test ended up going. I was concerned about the conditions in the dressage ring. I was competitor #83 so the ring had deteriorated quite a bit. I was confident in my ability to compete against everyone there, but was mostly nervous about how to ride in those conditions. You have to go for it enough to score really well, but you really have to support your horse and not bobble through the footing. I saw a lot of Brits (who are used to riding in these sort of conditions) bobbling — breaking in the mediums, losing balance and slipping. I decided it wasn’t worth getting nervous over. I was just going to have to ride smart, sit up and smile! Arthur felt fantastic in warm up. Then it was our turn. He was, of course, spooky around the arena, but when I turned down centerline he was all work! I could have gone for it a bit more in the first medium trot, but he was very regular and in excellent balance. The circles were a bit wobbly, but again, he felt very regular considering the conditions. He was such a good boy! We scored a 40.4, just a half a point behind Buck who was leading at that point. Two Americans led the pack until very late in the afternoon!!! We did have a laugh about it, because we knew they wouldn’t keep two Americans on top, but it was nice to see the American Flag twice on top of the leader board. Buck ended up tied 4th after dressage which moved me to 6th (I had the 5th best score). Out of 99 competitors not too shabby!
I walked the course with Buck & his dad after my test. It was really nice to get Bruce’s insights on the course. I really like the course and the jump crew has done such an amazing job with the footing and the changes to the course. I have no worries about running my horse, I am really excited to have a great go tomorrow.