The back story: I essentially stopped riding 3 1/2 years ago when we moved to Philly for me to attend vet school. I'd get to hop on DH's horse occasionally in the summers and maybe once a month I'd make it out to actually sit on my horse, who was for sale and sold last spring, but mostly there was no time and no money for real riding, nevermind competing.
The last three months I've been getting to ride more (like 1x a week) thanks to the ever-wonderful folks at Blue Hill Farm (where DH keeps his horse when they're home) and even take some lessons with Jeff's coach, Missy. Loki is home and on a bit of break after a tough season and so I've been riding him some. About two weeks ago a friend mentioned she was doing the Plantation Starter Trials and the wheels they started turning... "Could I do that? No way! Why not? Hmmm, actually maybe I could!" I mentioned it to Jeff and to Missy, who both said, "Sure!" I think we were all worried he might be a little -ahem- fresh, coming off a season of upper level work, but he'd been great for me at home so, why not?
Fast forward to yesterday: Loki and I made our Novice Rider debut and had a BLAST!! It was absolutely freezing and very windy, but we all packed on the layers and headed over to Plantation bright and early. Dressage was great, the judge was very complimentary of his movement and I even got a "tactful" and a 7 for rider (not to mention TWO 8's on our centerlines!! Anyone who knows what a wiggleworm/drunken sailor Loki is knows how big of a deal those are!).
Onward to the jumping where he was a superstar! Or rather, I didn't mess up too badly He jumped around easy as you please in show jumping, and I managed to get all but one distance (those things are tricky when you're out of practice!). I was a little worried he would be a bit of a handful when we went out to cross country (knowing his job as well as he does and being such a little xc machine!) but he just trotted out of the start box, not a care in the world, and cantered around the course like it weren't nuthin! And did I mention it was SO MUCH FUN?! Because it was . And the icing on the cake? We ended the day tied for 1st place!
Anyone who knows this horse and his story knows that the fact he's done what he's done is really a small miracle and a great testament to DH's patience and perseverance. Who would have thought that he'd turn into, not just a great Advanced horse, but also a total packer! DH better watch out, I might just be stealing our little grey love bug some more next season! Anyway, still riding high on Cloud Nine and thought I'd share!