Sept. 6th- We finally arrived at Hudson, Quebec after 12 hours of driving (yuck) to spend some
time with Armond before heading to Ottawa. Scott was pretty stiff after being in the trailer for that long,
so I spent some time walking him around then put him in his stall. As it happens, we didn't end up booking a place
to stay in Hudson-not a wise idea!-so the next hour was spent driving around a million little roads in search
for a place to spend the next 4 nights. Go figure, every place was booked solid...although there was yet to be found a
bed & breakfast-not to mention it was basically in the middle of nowhere. If you liked century old houses and furniture,
that was the place to be!
Sept. 7th- I was up with the sun at 5:30 and went to the barn to feed Scott and let him loose in the ring.
He was full of excitement and ended up throwing himself all over the place squealing and bucking....crazy or what!
A couple hours later after stuffing myself with food, I went back and got ready for a lesson. He went
pretty well, but was more interested in everything going on around him then me.
Sept. 8th- We got to some tack shops and I was lucky enough to have a gift certificate for
one of them. I ended up getting some white polos and some braiding spray which I'm in serious need for!
Later on in the morning we ventured to go see Windedge Farms. Go figure, we got lost in the corn fields
and took about 2 hours to find the place. I couldn't beleive how many stables there were around! There was
at least one on every corner....I guess my typical city life was starting to kick in! My lesson went a lot
better and we practiced a lot on canter lengthening back to working transitions. He was nice and supple
and was responding much better!
Sept. 9th- After a lesson that went really nicely- w/t/c on the bit and nice and round- we left Hudson
for Nepean, the NCEP. Let me tell you, Scott was not happy to be going back on the trailer which added ½
an hour of waiting before we left. Luckily we were smart enough to at least book a place to stay in Ottawa!
When we got there it took a while for Scott to accept the fact that he was to be staying in a tent. Although he settled
down once he discovered that the floor of his stall was grass...hemhem. Most of the rest of the day was spent in confusion,
trying to find numbers, programs, ride times, etc. Not my idea of fun!
Sept. 10th- Today I decided I'd try to find the well known Apple Saddlery. I spent basically the whole morning there
fishing through bins of stuff and trying on riding clothes, besides the early morning trip to barn/tent. In the afternoon I rode mostly
on my own except for the occasional tip from Armond. Scott was quite relaxed and for the most part went pretty well.
Sept. 11th- I got up early and went to the barn at all hours of the morning to braid. My ride time was at 7:30, so I had to get
everything done and be out in the warm up ring at about 7:10. When I got out in the show ring it was like Scott was doing his own test and I was just
along for the ride. The test went mostly well and was smooth and consistent for the most part. He was w/t/c on the bit and only came in late on one of the canter transitions.
In the long run that ended up marking us down a little along with a not completely square halt. My score ended up being 62.27% which is not the best of
my Basic 2, but it was good enough! I was really surprised to be in 2nd place since I just wanted to be there for the experience!
Sept. 12th- I should never have done this, but I did. To my stupidity and others, I went and had a lesson. I should have known it
would be far from wise to have one, instead maybe have taken Scott for a walk. He's the type of horse that can't take to much or he'll just throw it all away
and go through an awful ride the next day. Go figure, the next day was the Championship round.......
As for the lesson, he was really rushing through everything, lack of balance and not listening to my aids like he should have been.
Sept. 13th- Our warm up was good at the start but just keep going on downhill. Scott was rushing through everything and was refusing to canter.
Armond was pushing him and I was a wreck trying to gain control. Just the same, I went in the ring with the attitude that it was another day and everything
was going to be fine. The first half of the test went a lot better and I actually thought we would get through it. Although Scott was tense and more ridged
then loose and supple, he was listening to me for the most part. We even got an awesome lengthening in that scored us an 8. The second part of the test was awful!
He wouldn't canter and instead thought a buck would be a lot more fun (grrr...) He just flew around the ring tense and rushing with absolutely no balance what so ever.
I spent the whole time trying to slow him down, giving him half-halts. In the end the judges sympathized with me and I ended up with a 51% (the worst mark I've ever gotten).
That left me in 12th place and taught me a lesson not to expect another high placing/mark just because I did the first day. I think it would have turned out better if I
had left out that second lesson, but I can't change that. Next time I'll know better now that I've been through the consequences!
Sept. 14th- We left the NCEP and started home at about 8:00am in the morning. I wasn't to happy that I was going to miss the Grand Prix khurs, but I went along
anyway. It took 15 hours for us to get home which really did a job on Scott! Soon after I returned, I was standing in my own room and looking longingly at my own bed......
and yes, I had a good nights sleep!
In conclusion, I'd like to give a big thanks to my grandparents for joining us to cheer me on, my parents who played a huge part in supporting me (not to mention paying all
expenses:), and Armond for coaching me during my stay! Without these people, I surely couldn't have done it:)
Back home to Scottish Mist and Erin's World on the Web!