Can I just say, there are so many of my days in life where I feel my head is going to explode and I want to bury my face into a pillow and just screeeeeeeeeeam in a feeble effort to relieve some pressure.
Days like today, however, make it all worth it.
If you've ever wanted to know what it's like to stand in my shoes for a while, here's a good opportunity; I might fill you in on what you're missing. And if you never cared or wanted to know, well, you're just gonna have to put up with it for a little while.
The Lakeland Dressage Association had a show today, at Black Dog Farms in Plant City. Drama and Magdalene, Eryn and Rasputin were signed up and ready to go. They have both had some really good rides this week, so I was highly anticipating great things. It helps also to add to the anticipation when we get to the farm, and get the horses out and ready to go, and they are in a calm/quiet state of mind. Powerful, yet peaceful. It's a good way to begin a day.
Then in warm-up, watching how effortlessly they soften their bodies and yield themselves to their riders, who patiently take the time to warm them up and stretch out any stiffness, causing them to relax, to breathe, and then to yield even more deeply. I also watch some of the others in the warm-up arena, you know, to check out the competition. Some days it creates in me a feeling of anxiety; on others, it heightens the sense of anticipation. And today was the latter. My horses and my riders were so well turned out, so mentally sharp, so quiet and yet so full of presence. Oh, yes. Today was gonna be a good day.
Magdalene and Drama were scheduled to enter the arena first. As I called out the elements of the test to them, I had to force myself to quit watching them knowing I would forget to make the next call, so lost was I in the pure poetry of motion that was before my eyes. It also creates such a sense of exhilaration for me, knowing what it has taken in order to get here, when it comes down to these five minutes in the arena, being judged by a person who doesn't know or doesn't care where you have come from or what you have done. Just a mark on a piece of paper, followed by mark, after mark... based on what she sees before her eyes, put up against the standard of perfection in her head.
Immediately following was Rasputin and Eryn, who also were breathtaking. Raz's elegant body moves across the arena with resounding and cadenced, "thud, thud, thud" from his hooves pounding the turf, his massive body glides as if his age is of no consequence. And Eryn, gentle and patient, brings out the unassuming dignity in him so well. A smile on her face throughout the ride, in my opinion, is the best part of her ride.
They each had two rides, we did test one and test three for this level. And when the scores are announced, Magdalene had won two third places and Eryn a first and a second, which also brought her to Grand Champion. They had such high scores, and it made me so proud, so happy of each of them and what they are all about.
Here are some pictures so that you can enjoy my day as well. Relish the beauty.