|Walking the course. |
Someone looks a little green around the gills!
Soph was her typical confident self until the morning of the show. As we drove to the showgrounds she started asking questions about the height of the fences, how many of them she'd be expected to have to remember, and about jump offs. She was very concerned about jump offs and the potential GPS issues having to remember an additional course presented. My normally uber-confident child had been replaced by a morass of nerves. She didn't doubt her pony's ability ( if you ask Sophie, Cookie is capable of being a Puissance Pony) but for the first time ever she was having doubts about her own.
|Pensive pony jockey...|
|"And the heels go down like so..."|
The pair warmed up well, and stood for a few minutes at the one end of the warm-up ring watching the early rounds. As Annabel gave Sophie some more instruction, Cookie intently watched the action in the ring. I could swear she was memorizing the course, and saying to herself, "Personally, I would have added a stride in that line..." After a few more rounds, the child and pony trotted off into the ring for their first round.
|The picture of concentration...|
I'm not sure when and where it happened, when the nerves settled and confidence bloomed, but at some point it did. Sophie and Cookie ripsnorted their way around that course and ended with a fault free round and big smiles on their faces. Yes, BOTH of them were smiling. Annabel called it perfectly as they exited the ring, "That pony had herself a VERY GOOD TIME out there." Cookie had her little pony strut in full effect, and was the absolute picture of pony satisfaction.
The pair didn't do the second class in order to give Sophie more time to memorize the course for the third class and the jump off. Sophie and her barn buddy Emma spent a good bit of time in front of the board discussing the course (so they said -- the amount of giggling I saw makes me suspect otherwise) until Annabel went over to walk the course with her. Sophie and Cookie took a few laps around the warmup ring, popped over a few fences, and then trotted off to wait their turn to enter the jumper ring.
|Pony motorcycle! Wheee!|