When last we spoke to the Equitation Junkie, she was whining lamenting the adverse affects of growing older on the ability to maintain a solid (and competitive) equitation base.
Despite my sans-stirrup shortcomings and what appears to be an oddly progressive inability to “sink” my heels much below the parallel, I managed to pass the first test of the show season with flying colors.
Our first show this season was in late May and although the golden boy showed a brief streak of devilishness in our initial under-saddle classes, he propped up his halo and was on his best behavior for our working hunter classes. By the time my Adult Amateur Equitation Over Obstacles class rolled around he was one hundred percent ON.
The Equitation course provided a sufficient challenge for both of us and I was pleased to have to negotiate some of the tighter turns, angled lines and yes, even a trot fence, I so appreciate of a well designed equitation course. In previous years, I’d felt that the hunter and equitation courses demonstrated at the Arabian sport horse shows were somewhat lacking in both quality and an overall appreciation for the precision and technique of the sport.
Beginning in 2011, the show committee for this particular show had brought in a new course designer whose enthusiasm for a challenging though rewarding course was evident in her meticulous and appealing designs. I was thoroughly impressed with the equitation course she’d planned this year, and excited that it seemed to be on par with the superior level of course design I often appreciated at the open circuit hunter/jumper shows. It was the sort of course that would require some thought, planning and for Cisco and I to negotiate it and not just ride it. Challenge gleefully accepted!