Inavale was last weekend, and the last weekend of June and it was predicted to be very hot — upper 90s! Cairo and I got lucky with the ride times, all early morning. We had our dressage at 9:30 am Friday and Cairo was pretty stellar (for her) except for one itty-bitty rear during a canter trot transition. We got a three on that one. This time instead of last, our dressage score had us at second to last. And we got a 43.5 instead of a 44. It was the same judge and I’m telling myself her dressage must have been MUCH better if we can rear and actually improve our score slightly, right?
Stadium was Saturday and Cairo expressed her usual dismay at the other horses in the warm up. We kept it quick and cruised right in. The first fence was a little one, but it was off a short term, uphill out of a corner. Cairo charged, I held and she bashed the rail. After that she was “game on” and rode beautifully, even a downhill five stride and I didn’t hold her off her fences. Guess we needed to hit one to get our act together!
Lots of other horses hit that fence as well, so we moved from 16th to 12th. Our ride was at 8:40 am, so we missed the heat again.
Our xc was at 8:15 am. Meika coursewalked with her working student Letty and I at 6:40 in the morning and then I tacked right up and got on. I was feeling pretty confident — for me — since it is a Novice course we’ve done before. Cairo’s boldness does wonders for my show nerves!
Cairo was bold out of the start box and gleefully attacked the course. Log, big table, brush fence in the woods … she settled right in and was her usual bold self. Fence 6 was a maxxed out cedar table and Cairo flew it like a veteran. The only fence we bobbled a little was my old friend the little Trakhener. Cairo was great, I just held and stared a little. The second to last fence gave some folks a problem. It was listed as a ditch to a roll top but it was really more like a log. My concern was that Cairo would disrespect it and then blow the three strides the next fence. Meika had me slow her down the hill and really see the fence and it rode beautifully.
The whole course felt easy and that felt great. Some other riders found the course spooky and I heard a lot of refusals and a couple falls announced. We moved into 9th and I was thrilled. I was extra thrilled because Inavale doesn’t split amateurs from pros and I saw later we finished 7th in amateur points. I’ll update this post with video once I get it!
Now next on the agenda is Rebecca Farm! We are doing the Novice three day long format!