On Sunday Penny and I headed out to Ottawa Horse Trials. We had a super early ride time so we hit the road just after 4am. We arrived with plenty of time to course walk and get prepped for dressage. The temperature took a major dive and it was very chilly. Luckily I packed my cooler and warm fuzzy sweater by chance...Penny and I stayed nice and warm despite the cold wind.
We had a long warm up and the facilities in Ottawa are just fabulous. Tonnes of room and the footing is perfect. I was really happy with Penny's warm up and felt good going into our test. She was very good in the ring and it was definitely our best test so far this year. There are still little bobbles that will take some time to work out, like our canter transitions and submission - but things are moving along nicely. We scored a 50.3 pp (33.5 US), improving our score over 7 points from last weekend, putting us in 6th after dressage.
I watched quite a few stadium rounds in the Training division and it was a total gong show. Horses crashing through fences, sliding into fences, and timber flying everywhere. The lines walked long and were quite forward. The ring is a Grand Prix grass showjumping ring and I don't think the riders had corked their horses enough. You need the big honkers to get through the 3 or 4 inches of sod until you get into the earth. I knew the course favoured Penny with her nice forward long stride but it was definitely going to require good riding.
I went in and let Penny do her thing, straightening her out and adjusting her a little here and there. We jumped a lovely clear round, moving us up to 4th place. After stadium we only had 20 minutes to go back to the trailer and change our gear and head out to cross. I hate to say this but I wasn't worried about cross at all. I thought it looked easy for Penny - but I am not so much of a fool to think that means we won't have a problem. I always plan to ride every single fence with determination until we are over it.
Cross was amazing. We had a great flowing little gallop and jumped everything out of stride. Penny was a star and looked at nothing. I checked my watch getting close to the finish and realized we were wayyyy ahead of our time. I brought her back to a slow canter as I crossed the finish line and when I checked my watch I was worried I had done it again - gone too fast. When I got back to the trailer I did the math and figured I landed either right on the speed fault time or just over. Penny barely broke a sweat on cross and her heart rate was excellent as told by the vet. I gave her a drink, some carrots and wrapped her in her cooler back at the trailer.
We are headed to the OHTA champs this weekend at Cedar Run. Hope to have an awesome time!