I've clearly been a bad blogger, so I apologize to all those following my progress with my new mare. Shit happens -- my job really got a little out of control there for awhile and I was working at all hours of the day and night. Can I just tell you how tired I am lately?
Then, the unthinkable happened. My mare, who had been ranked 5th in the world in her division, ripped her front shoe off during a (particularly pretty) sliding stop, and strained her deep flexor tendon. Cue the handwalking, cold-hosing and wrapping that all of us who've owned a horse have had the misfortune of going through. Last month the vet okayed me riding and training her, but not my trainer. Not yet. Her tendon is not fully healed and too much strain could really damage it again. I like how confident the vet is that any riding I do will not impact her tendon in any way. If I thought about that in more depth, I might feel a little wounded by what it might imply. I haven't, so I'm not bothered in the least. :)
Well, onwards and upwards. My mare has been back in training with me for about a month and her leg looks great. I showed my first official show in June -- the first to count towards qualifying for affiliates before heading to OK for the Rookie of the Year competition. Without really doing any sliding stops, and having one day in which Miss Gracie thought it might be a good idea to blast off on me and run out of control to her stop, we managed a consistent 68.5 score throughout the 4 days. Not great, but nothing to be ashamed of either. We were consistently in the top 5 rookie riders and seem to be poised to easily qualify for affiliates in September.
Next weekend I have my 2nd show of the season. My goal is (obviously) to score a 70, but I still seem to be having a lot of issues with my stops, so that may not work out. My secondary goal is to not minus at least one of my stops. Meaning - for all you non-reining folks - that I do at least one correct stop. I'm consistently getting a zero (correct) score on all the other maneuvers, so that's just the next step. I'll let you know how it goes.