It was freezing, and my breath came out in puffs of steam. Mum and I were rushing around, running to set off on time (as usual) and we were begining to cut it a bit fine (as usual). When we arrived and mum dashed off to check what class was running I changed quickly, my nerves making my body shiver as well as the cold. I call them my "nervous shivers." suddenly, mum was back there in front of me. it was 12:00 and they were only on class 1 which apparently had been going on for over 2 hours!!! Already dressed, I sat in the front reading to pass the time. Mum checked Shadow was happy munching her hay and got us each a cup of tea to warm up. As soon as I put the book down my nerves returned. All too quickly I was on Shadow ready to warm up for my first class.
After walking the course and warming up all too soon I was called to jump. We entered the ring at a trot, and waited until the bell rang before we set off cantering, my heart hammering faster than Shadow's footfalls. Only the first fence is daunting, seeming to be intimidating even though it was only 85cm. Then we were over it, the rest of the round became a blur, of trying my best to (just) steer around the snakelike course and keep Shadow focused on the right fence. As it was we had trouble at number 9 because she locked on to fence 5!!! I came out buzzing though, a clear round and she'd stayed forward through the turns!!! The jump off was even more amazing, and it felt so fast I thought we were flying, yet when I saw the time I was surprised by how slow it actually was, l but we still came fourth, therefore qualifying and feeling great, Shadow was such a good girl! More work on jump off turns needed I think!!!
We waited for the riders to trickle out of the warm up so I could go in for my go at the 95cm, I didn't feel so cold now I'd done something. Mum eventually came out and told me to come in as they were ready for me. I turned to face the course of 95cm fences with my heart galloping again and my stomach tying to shred itself. The bell went and first fence flew at me, and I held on tight. the first 2 were easy, but on the 3rd I got the approach all wrong and Shadow bravely stag leaped into the air to get us over the fence then landed gracefully before setting off again. There's a video of this round on my you tube channel, I Shadow was a superstar!!! She flew the rest of the course, the seconds draining away too fast. I was bursting with excitement, all I had to do was be quick in the jump off and we wold be placed and be qualified. But could Shadow pull off another clear round? She'd been on my side all day so far, I just had to ask her one more time. The jump off rolled around again, and this time I just didn't think, but kicked on, urging my girl faster, it was a complete blur of colour and pounding hooves, a breathless, amazing blur. We were all clear and this time I knew we'd gone fast. A few minutes later the line up was announced and we placed second! Yay! It was awesome! I loved it!
We went home after that, tired and spent. Shadow went to bed with more than her fair share of treats.
What a fabulous day. thank you to the team at Moorhouse Equestrian Centre, and thank you and well done to Molly Heaps for being such a "swaggy" friend and for coming second in the ponys 95cm!