Thuy schooling/showing the Novice course at Curragh
We went into this weekend thinking it was all for fun. And boy did we have fun!
We schooled all the Novice fences, and the training bank and water
complexes. The day of the event our dressage was acceptable (39), especially
considering he's had a dressage saddle on once in the last six months (this past Wednesday).
I was very worried about stadium because we didn't get to school it the day before, and
it was in the inside dressage arena, and it had an in and out (which we've never
done at the novice level). Anyway, my being so silly, he thought the course was great
and just attacked the fences. I, on the other hand, focused too much on the in and out, and
when we successfully negotiated it, forgot to take fence number six which came next.
I did a circle and took it before number seven, but had penalties because of it.
Then, after a clear cross country, I had 20 penalties for time. At least, I thought it was
time penalties. I went and checked, and it was actually speed penalties. We'd gone
a minute and 5 seconds too fast. This on the little guy who had trouble making time
Beginner Novice. I was actually quite pleased. Now I know we can definitely make
time at Novice, and probably even at Training if we ever want to try that.
What's a little strange, is that for timid me (who's been known to trot a horse so slowly
to a cross country fence that the horse couldn't jump it), a minute under time felt
very comfortable. I sat up for every fence, but otherwise I only really asked for a gallop
between two fences where I knew we'd have a lot of space. I slowed to a canter for the water
jump, but I do remember coming off the last jump heading for home and not being
able to see because of the tears in my eyes. Fox hunting has done a lot for both of us.
Definitely a fun weekend!
 Video of first jump on course 
 Video of water jump

 We did a practice canter out of the box because I wanted to be sure and make time...
 Sometimes the fences make it obvious that I'm on a smaller horse (he's 15hh). This one looked massive on the approach
 This jump felt like we were flying. A lot of power and impulsion up to it and it was really wide.
 The jump on this course that scares me the most. Thuy didn't know it was supposed to be a problem...
 I'm still a bit nervous about the feeling of leaping into water. On Sunday, by this time on course, I was feeling tired, so I just dropped the reins and grabbed the front of the saddle. Thuy stayed straight and jumped the fence after the water like a champ.
 Another big one.
 A ditch to telephone poles. He's so forward now that he did this in one stride.
Thuy's definitely fit. We did the course a minute faster than time, and when we pulled up after the finish, even with his heavy coat, he was only damp under the tack...
 Yes, he can get strong. It doesn't scare me anymore. 
In dressage I was a bit embarrassed to be pulling his head to my knee to get him back to the trot from the canter. I guess the judge didn't really see it, because she gave us a 6 and said crooked transition...
 Me and my war horse...