Today was an early morning for me, even though I didn't wake up early. The GCS crew was up late last night, as the horses made it in around 11:30 pm. It was great to see everyone team together to get the horses unloaded, fed, and watered in a timely fashion. We offloaded necessary equipment and feed in an assembly line manner while a few others tag-teamed carrying water buckets from the spigot on the other side of the barn. This is why I love eventers; when the going gets tough, we get going! Everyone pitched in and got the horses settled in record time. So even though I didn't make it to the barn until 8:45 (bearing a dozen bagels, ice for the ice chest, and water for all), it still felt early thanks to only a few hours of sleep. Although apparently one should not buy bagels from America's Favorite Doughtnut shop...
After arriving at the barn, I decided Dante needed to go on a walk. However, before I could parade him in front of the entire 'eventing nation,' I had to take care of his tail. For those of you who don't know Dante, his tail is a shavings magnet, and is very difficult to comb. After fifteen minutes of meticulous combing, it finally was shavings-free so we went for a walk. And by walk, I mean cavort on two legs while dragging me here and there. To be fair, the horse went from 100 degrees to 60 in 48 hours. I don't blame him for feeling good. Very good. Extremely good.
Well, I can blame him a little.
Eventually he settled down and started grazing. We then went on a hack among the gorgeous Georgia pines in our jump tack. I haven't been on trails since we lived in Maryland, and I quickly remembered why I used to love hacking so much. After the hack, we took a short spin around the warm up, just establishing calm and relaxed. While he was nervous at first, he relaxed into his work very well.
Then came lunch, which I was very excited for because I had already seen that 'the smoothie lady' was here! I enjoyed a wonderful fresh fruit mango smoothie while watching riders of all level taking advantage of the schooling ring. Really, what in life is better than watching lovely horses work while drinking a mango smoothie?
See? You can't think of anything else better either!
In the afternoon, I rode Dante again, this time in the dressage saddle and double bridle. He was an absolute dream, and even gave me some extremely uphill medium trot for the first time, something we struggle with a lot. If he goes tomorrow like he did today, I'll be extremely happy.
After a course walk (which I'll post pictures of and discuss tomorrow), we went for another walk during which Dante was very well behaved. As a reward he got a very long graze with his friend Kobe, who taught him how to eat dirt. (Thanks, Kobe.)
Tomorrow I'll be buying doughnuts, ice and my favorite McDonald's breakfast (maple + fruit oatmeal, yum!). I don't ride until mid-afternoon (2:17!) so he'll get a ride in the morning in jump tack, once again working on calm and relaxed. Hopefully, tomorrow we will put forth our best dressage test yet.
Cheers to a positive outlook, a beautiful venue, and a happy, fit thoroughbred!