For once we had a glorious day for our trec competition on Sunday. It certainly helped bring a cheerful atmosphere to the final event of the winter season. Although I wasn’t so sure when I saw these little people in the arena!
They had a tarpaulin right behind them and I was sure Galahad was not going to like them one bit. I was watching all the in hand competitors walking their course and bemoaning the fact that I hadn’t entered – at least then he would have got a chance to see them before I rode him at them. I was told I was welcome to enter as someone had pulled out. I jumped at the chance!
I hadn’t done a full in hand class before so my brain wasn’t really engaged. I forgot I was meant to be walking as quickly as possible until we were halfway through the control of paces section and I completely forgot I could trot under the low branches. I was really treating it as extra training for the ridden class. I did notice that without me riding Galahad negotiated the s-bend with no trouble at all. Clearly all our problems lie with my dodgy aids when riding!
It was good fun though and I was pleased with how relaxed Galahad was – he even walked straight past the gnomes with no trouble. That did get us my favourite ever comment on the score sheet – ‘Slight gnome tension.’
I wasn’t expecting to place well at all as the other competitors had been doing this class many times over the winter. However, my name kept not being called and we ended up winning. It was a bit embarrassing really but obviously I was thrilled. It was completely down to Galahad being sensible.
We then went straight into our individual ridden class. There were only two entries in this but I knew the others were more than capable of beating us. The control of paces went well – hopefully we have cracked that now – but the first ridden obstacle was bending. Galahad went round the first two posts and then just charged past the rest. Not a good start. The rest of the course felt a bit messy and worst of all was the immobility. We have never scored less than a ten for that but on Sunday he only stood still for six seconds. It was just one of those days. On the bright side the gnomes were not an issue at all.
The gate was still a problem though – we didn’t even manage to open it. We did show an improvement as Galahad would actually stand next to it this time. Baby steps.
We went a little better in the pairs class. The gate was still an issue but the immobility was back on track and we managed to do the bending properly. It wasn’t pretty – we had some very wide turns – but we did complete it with no mishap.
The prize giving was again a bit of a surprise. We were the only entry in the pairs class so we were expecting to win that (our first sash!) but we had also just managed to scrape the prize in the individual class. We got a trophy for that one. Galahad stood like a rock and let our rosette and trophy be handed up to me. I was incredibly proud of him but I got off before we received the sash. That would have been pushing it too far!
Not only that, as this was the final event of the season the league prizes were presented and we were reserve champion in the novice rider class. At the beginning of the season that was such an unlikely event that I didn’t even consider it. We have worked hard though and the improvement in Galahad has been amazing. I am so proud of how far he has come.