My ride wasn’t a disaster, but it wasn’t up to the caliber of work that we’ve been putting in over the last few months either. I didn’t necessarily feel tense, but a friend who has only ever seen me at clinics, not shows, noted the difference. I was glad she pointed it out because for my next two rides I focused on relaxing and letting go of the tension.
Somewhere during the second half of the test, I gave myself a hard shake and tossed my tension out the back window. As I trotted away from the judge down the long side, I laughed out loud and told myself to get over the tension and ride my horse like I knew how to do. I wish I could say that my scores improved dramatically at that moment, and maybe they did go up bit, but there was no miraculous recovery. With that said, it was a steady eddy test with nothing lower than a 6.0, which gave me a final score of 62.500%.
There were seven riders in my warm-up class:
5. 62.500% (me)
So while a 62.500% isn’t worth a huge celebration, it wasn’t completely out of the playing field either. It was a huge show with a level of activity that we’ve never seen before. I went to bed that night pretty pleased with how we’d done. A score in the low 60s might not get us in the ribbons for HOY, but it was still a solid effort.