For all of the weirdly negative feelings I had, I also experienced a ton of fun this weekend. Gav's breeder, Lisa Brezina, flew out with fellow blogger and cob enthusiast, Jen from Cob Jockey! I was so excited to see both of them (and meet Jen) that I literally told anyone I could at the barn along with coworkers and non-horsey friends. They did not disappoint! Lisa is such a warm person and so in love with the breed that she is just disarming and completely inviting to talk to. Jen is super helpful, friendly, a bombass photographer, and in my case awesome to bounce cob-related questions/ideas off of (her and Conner are far enough ahead of Gav and I that she's sorta been there done that with some of our problems).
|Jen with Gav... I'm jelly of those elbows!|
Jen was kind enough to act as show photographer (thank you, thank you, thank you!), so I not only have beautiful pictures, but also a lot of pictures where I can learn what some of my habitual issues are in my body (I'm looking at you left arm and general leaning forwardness).
The bad pictures make me cringe and I may post them at some point, but not today! Today is about the good.
|Exhausted horse and rider with our glorious big brown ribbon!|
|Good timing and VERY flattering ;)|
|Warming up - spoiler, I didn't get this trot in the test|
|Medium Walk - First Test, T-3|
|Has to be start of stretchy trot circle - First Test, T-3|
|Gav and his breeder having a moment|
|Just love this pic..|
|At the end of it all, I cried|
I left the arena after our championship ride at training level feeling so relieved and so happy with our ride. There were no serious "oh fuck" moments and he felt pretty damn tuned into me. I halt, saluted, patted him and just kept patting him because I knew I was going to cry. And I cried. I'm a little bit of a crier anyways, but this horse is just... I don't know... he's my guy. I'm not a perfect rider, and he's not the perfect dressage horse, but I adore him and he tried really hard for me all weekend. He hopped on and off the trailer like a pro, he was never naughty or dangerous (even when he was a scared), he looked beautiful, and he listened to me (always on the ground, and most of the time when ridden). I just felt so lucky, and maybe a little unworthy of him (again, the self-doubt kicking in).
It was a great weekend with maybe not the greatest scores (62.5 for the morning test and a 63.75 for the championship test, interestingly, in the championship test the E judge scored me significantly higher than the C judge (65.? vs 62.?), but like the exhausted person I was at that point - I completely forgot to pick up my test, so that mystery will be left unsolved).