October 21st
I managed to eat breakfast, which is good because I couldn’t eat for the rest of the day ‘til dressage was done.  I remembered all my clothes etc…phew!  I sat with John and Judy Rumble (Woody’s owners) to watch all of the dressage. I only missed a few tests today.  James started us off at 9:30 a.m. Gustav looked amazing out there. Jessica was inspiring and the team was pumped and ready. Rocky was awesome, aside from the spook at the judges booth, no one was expecting that. Hawley and Chunky make an excellent pair. They fit each other beautifully. Thought the judges were a little harsh, with just one bobble in their test. Finally, it was my turn at 4:12 p.m. Let me tell you, waiting ‘til the end of the day to do dressage was a little hard on the tummy. I drank water, juice and managed to shove a small bite of granola bar into my mouth before getting on. I gave him a short stretching ride after Hawley’s test, then gave him to his buddy Anne Marie, who gave him a nice bath, magnetic blanket and some very nice braids, plus that great Canadian flag on his haunches.

When I got back on him 30 minutes before my ride time, he felt pretty good.  A little reluctant to give in his frame. By the time I was in the second practise ring I was in full blown panic mode because I couldn’t get him to stay focused and round. I had things like “Should I change his bridle to his happy mouth, take his flash off, loosen it?” running through my mind. David was so on the ball, and realized I was having a meltdown. When we moved into the last prep ring he told me to “forget the movements, no more movements. He has to answer you when you ask him to go deeper in his frame, so that when he wants to look around you have communication.” David told me to do canter, trot, canter, trot over and over in quick succession. It saved the day. He immediately started to feel better.  I went into the ring doing the same thing canter, trot, canter, trot.

Woody was a trooper and pulled his finger out, he did the best he could with a decent medium trot, good turn on the haunches, square halts. I wish I had done more in my medium canter for a few points.  But I was so pleased with the way he was coming back to working canter.  Overall I was tickled pink with our performance. Before we came here, David asked that we do our jobs and don’t leave anything on the table. That’s all you can do. Well, I feel like today we did our best. I was very disappointed with the score from one of the judges. It brought my overall mark way down. When there’s that much of a difference between the judges’ marks, I am always suspicious. I am not going to let it take away from the fact that Woody was a star! As my mum would say “It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings” and this isn’t going to be a dressage show. So look out because here we come…Go team Canada!