YAY! As Honorary Big Sister Jen put it, what a difference a year makes! The Sparkplug made his first IEA outing of the season on Sunday. I equipped him with a Happy Mouth full cheek with a rolly peanut and his riders with no crop or spurs. He was put in the pool for 2'6" and 2'0" flat. And I had no idea how it was going to go.
As it turned out, my little Napolean was just about perfect! I rode him for his warm up, taking a good, long time. I could tell he was definitely unsure and nervous, but he just tucked in his nose and trucked along. He was perfect for warm-up, and as I got off, I was feeling pretty good. The only thing that could muck it up would be a rider who couldn't ride for shizzy. Been there, done that... got pulled.
I had to leave to go to work, so I left Sparky in Honorary Big Sister Jen's capable hands. His first class was a 2'6" flat class. All was well until the canter, when Sparky popped off a wrong lead. And then the same on the reverse. And a little bucky for a swap. Uh-oh. Tough break for the kid, but no mad-pony antics to get him pulled. His next two kids, however, had perfect rides on him: correct leads and no antics! The assessment then became that the first rider had maybe tried to ask a little too much of him, rather than just leaving him alone and letting him do his thing. Sometimes the hardest thing for us to do as riders is to do nothing.
Star was, of course, her usual perfect self. Our warmup was fun, especially when I went from the second-to-last fence to the last... but jumped the last one the wrong way. Lesson: If you're going to do something wrong, do it with style! Our turn between the last two fences was stellar - except for being wrong, of course. I then did it correctly, but neither Star nor I thought the correct way was as much fun.
Overall, I am just tickled pink that Sparky did so well (and Star, too, of course)! While we are still far from perfect, it certainly serves as a gauge of just how far we've come in the past year and shows that my work with my horses absolutely accomplishes something! If I had more time, obviously we could progress faster, but hey, at the end of the day, we are progressing.
I'm just pleased as punch! P**ters*n Ponies REPRESENT! =D