I’m running out of room for our numbers. I should probably check Pinterest before next weekend. Another trip to Course Brook with a more confident and badass head on both our shoulders.
Brantley luckily pulled himself together for my sake and was completely sound both riding days before our entries were due for yesterday’s horse trial at Orchard Hill Equestrian Center (which by the way is fucking b-e-a-uuutiful) and I was luckily able to sign up online so no Post Office B.S.
Friday night was my annual Brantley Gilbert concert because… well… I have a problem but I only cried once! okay… maybe twice. But it wasn’t like an active cry… Just dramatic tears rolling down the cheeks kind of a thing. Yes I’m a fan girl but I’m okay with it. If you’ve been a follower you know what his music means and has helped me work through in the past (and probably present… and future).
Grasa and Morgan both came along for the trip and it was amazing. My horse world and non-horse world colliding together? Happily? Who would’ve thought. It was about a 4 hour drive up so obviously we were late but who wants to see the opening acts anyway! Per usual it was amazing and I was super giddy the whole time.We had originally planned to spend the night in New Hampshire but decided that it was still early enough that we’d get home by 2AM and that was fine… Until trying to get into Mass and finding all of the ramps to 95S were blocked off for construction… AAAALLLL OF THEEEMMM! We drove around for an extra hour. Plus add in a few stops and dropping M off, I got home maybe 3AM and I’m sure Gray got home 330AM. But it was worth waking up in our own beds… Or my mother’s floor. Same thing.
Saturday was a day to catch up on work and show prep. I didn’t end up riding but that was okay. I felt really good about what was to unfold Sunday… And I was right.
Brantley had his total game face on and we pulled off a super dressage test, at least in our eyes. The score wasn’t my best but he was solid in his transitions (minus one) and was consistent in his pace and softness. I was totally happy with it and could’ve gone home, but of course, we have to do get through the fun stuff.
We hit the warm up ring and trotted around before hopping the cross-rail and little vertical. Of course Gray goes, “Are you going over the oxer?” Psh… Why not? So we did. Time for our stadium round ❤
Brantley was pretty much flawless for jump 1, 2, and 3A… But then came the short distance combination… He came out right before the oxer that was set for 3B. Dick. So we went around again… and again… and finally I was able to stop in between the jumps, line him up and hop the oxer from a walk almost. Then we continued on for a beautiful course. On our way out I dropped my reins and he tried to side pass over and take #1 again on the way out… Overachiever.
Unfortunately those refusals equaled and Elimination but luckily it’s a schooling show so we got to hit cross-country anyway. And boy did we hit it.
He was an absolute beast. A slow beast… But a beast anyway. He hit every jump and we even went up our first bank, over a bench, and through water. I can’t even deal. He was steady and listened down the hills and around the bends, locking in on everything. Both jumps he kind of gawked at were definitely my fault because I thought they would be scarier than they were of course. But he said, “No ma, I got this.” and took me through.
(I apologize for the yelling…)
After we packed up and headed out I grabbed my dressage test and saw that although we didn’t score very well compared to others, we had been in 3rd place. A little disappointed that we had such an issue with the combination but only disappointed that I didn’t think of preparing for that, not in Brantley’s performance at all. He was everything I had hoped for and more. Course Brook on the 30th. Let’s kick some butt B!