Utoh! I haven’t blogged in AGES!! I am such a bad, bad kid but what can you do? I am busy but still, I just suck.
NAJYRC 2010 is officially over, and has been over for a week now but I digress! It was an overwhelming, over-emotional, and overly fun experience but I am not sad to see it go. The week ended with the FEI Junior Musical Freestyle and I pulled a super great riding spot, fourth from the last!
We had a great ride with a 69% and some change and although I really wanted to pop through the 70% barrier, it was just not meant to happen. The competition was super fierce and we finished in fifth place! Val was not peaked exactly where I wanted him to be but none the less I was so ecstatic with our rides. This is the first time we have been on such a large stage with competition this prestigious and it was scary! By the end of the week I was much more settled than I was at the start, and now that it is all over reflecting I am looking forward to next season with positive anticipation. My heart is starting to tell me that Val and I can do Young Riders next year, and this revelation is startling but joyful. I dreamed about being able to make Juniors this year, and not even in those wild hopes did I ever think Gladstone and Top 12 was a possibility. But look what we have done: leading the Region 3 Juniors to a Team Bronze, bringing home an Individual Bronze on top of that, fifth in North America with a Kur I have never shown, and coming into Gladstone as third in the country! If we can get there from a horse barely able to go Second level last year, a horse that started flying changes in June/July, a horse that had never even been in a double bridle before January, then what can’t we do?
The best part of NAJYRC was meeting the girls from all over the country and forming friendships with them. I think that if I was to change one thing it would be to put in more inter-regional bonding activities because it was late in the week when I really had time to start searching for those faces to put with the names of the kids whose scores I had watched all season. I was adopted by Region 8 and I love all the kids from there so, so much. Next year will be great because I will know more people going in which is always a plus! There are things in our region that need to be changed though, but after my first year I know that I can make positive improvements for the returning and new girls in our own spot in the country. The youth is important to me and being more involved is a goal of mine for next year.
We popped home for a week and then the plan was to leave for Gladstone on Saturday about 4pm. We had no running lights when we pulled to Kentucky and we didn’t feel like repeating driving through the dark and the fog without them. Our great friends loaned us a truck to pull our trailer with and rewired the trailer the week that we were back. We went to pick up the truck and trailer and had it all loaded except for the pony. Mom and I pull up to the barn and she goes to open the trailer up to load while I put a few things in the tack room. Then, all I hear is this CRASH and I race around to the back. My mom is standing there holding our ramp that is now half hanging off the trailer. My face was pure horror according to her and the first thought and sentence out of my mouth was, “What did you do?!?!?!” Leave it to my super-human mother to rip the ramp off the trailer! Of course my brain quickly caught up with my mouth, although I can safely say I was fighting back tears at this point. I mean, what do you do when the ramp falls off your trailer?! Looking back we are all just thankful it happened when it did and that neither human nor pony was hurt in the process of the trailer going to pieces. All of the welded hinges just broke. We fiddled trying to close the trailer back up and the last hinge snapped enabling us to chuck the ramp flat in the back so we could drive an hour back across town to our friends.
Our amazing friends came through and let us borrow their big ‘ole three horse gooseneck with a camper, neither mother nor I had ever pulled anything this big before, and we hooked it up to the car. But when it rains, it pours! The gooseneck was wired improperly as well and bless their hearts Butch and Juan spent the entire night rewiring so we had brakes and lights and a trailer with a ramp! Val was a bit squeezed and I will admit parking our “Cobb County Mounted Police Force” trailer (including barrel horses on the side!) next to Hilltop Farm’s trailer at Gladstone is an experience I will never forget but we arrived whole and healthy in sixteen long hours! Leaving at 4pm instead of 3am would have been nice, but you get what life wants to deal out!
Val has been rocking out riding here and settled in quicker than he did in Lexington. I will give you a real Gladstone post tomorrow after the jog!