So when April tweaked something running around after a torrential downpour, I decided for once NOT to pull out of my plans to go to a show. Instead, I hit up a fellow boarder whose horse I have been schooling, and she was excited about the chance to get him going again.
I could see the anticipation mounting up in everyone around me, because the next phase was going to be the real test. Everyone was putting on their game faces, but I knew we were all asking the same questions. How would the warmup go? How would he handle the excitement of multiple horses careening around him schooling fences? Would our bronco-boy show up, or would we maintain the sweet, gentlemanly demeanor he had given us all morning?
I got a leg up, took a deep breath, and headed for warmup with an expectation for nothing other than what we wanted - a calm, quiet experience. That's what we came for, and I have been trying hard to adapt the mentality of the quote I remember so well that was painted on the wall of my high school swim complex - "Think you can, or think you can't; either way you will be right." Just as it has gotten me through the journey with my fear, I proceeded on knowing it would get Bongo through his next phase. And I couldn't have been more right.
As I looked through the photos this week, the jumping phase made me laugh hysterically. I have the most ridiculous expressions on my face in every picture, because I jabbered and laughed all the way through it. I kept telling him what a good boy he was, and laughing when he spooked at the honking birds in the corner. I gave him a soft, calm, confident round, and I couldn't have been more pleased. We did what we came to do!
To top it all off, the farm team cleaned up. While Bongo and I finished on our dressage score in 2nd place, the other two from our farm cleaned up first place ribbons in their divisions! Merryn rode Thomas in her very first full horse trial, and Robyn finished on a dressage score of 32 in her very first Novice - so everyone had an amazing day.
It's been a bit of a rough week, so retracing the weekend has been a much needed lift for me. I have been so inconsistent with my blogging, and I really need to get back to it. Helps me to keep life in perspective when it tends to get twisted around a bit. Which it has lately. A lot, in fact! Poor Samson. Every scratch or sniffle tends to send me off the deep end of worry, and his latest deal is a recurring snotty nose. No other symptoms, and culture wasn't horrendous, but I still stress out like crazy. Other than that, he really is doing well, and enjoys his old man naps in the field on sunny days. It's these little moments that bring me the peace to know that he is still perfectly content.