I was the first rider in ring 2 on Saturday. That can be either great, or a little unnerving. I felt like I was setting the stage for everyone else. If nothing else, the rest of the riders would reap the rewards after the judge saw us go as it's a near certainty that they'll be better. For the last two years in a row I've scored dead last in the RAAC class. Not just low, but DEAD last. TWICE. I hoped this year would put me at least in the middle of the field.
When I go to a show, I am truly riding to beat my last score regardless of where that places me against the rest of the field. I am not too terribly competitive against other riders, but I do want to kick my own butt. But last? I wanted to do better.
I finished Training Level Test 2 with a feeling of having put in a solid ride, but I knew it wasn't perfect. There were some bobbles here and there, although nothing went spectacularly wrong.
I had about 45 minutes until Training Level Test 3, so I took Speedy back to his stall and let him get a drink and hang out for a few minutes. I didn't have time to check my scores, so I had to wing my next test without the benefit of seeing what the judge liked or wasn't so pleased with in Test 2.
I left that test feeling like it too was fairly solid, but again, there were little hiccups here and there. I untacked Speedy, ditched my breeches for shorts, and walked over to the board to check my scores.
When I looked at the first score, my heart dropped into my stomach. My score was scratched out which I was CERTAIN meant that I had been disqualified for some reason. When I looked closer to see why, I realized that my score was written above the scribble, and then my heart took a magnificent leap. Was that right? I had scored a 70.179% at a USDF show.