I kicked off the 2012 competition season last weekend with Audi at the 47th Annual PVDA Spring Show at Morven Park in Leesburg, VA. We won both of our classes on Saturday scoring 69.8% at First Level Test #3 and 71.7% at First Level Test #2. The first test he was a little tight and behind me but he felt totally 'on' for the second test. It was the first time that I felt like I could really go for it with Audi in the show ring. It was awesome! The only blooper in the First Level Test #2 occurred after we picked up left lead canter and were about to start our 15m circle. Another rider who was circling the ring adjacent to ours got a little too close to my ring. Audi's reaction was to leap straight up and drop sideways. I think he thought the horse was going to take him head on. He's had a history of being a little squirrely about other horses so it was a shame that this happened. Honestly I don't blame him but it's something we need to work through to make sure this doesn't become even more of an issue. Unfortunately that shyness did translate to the warm up on Sunday. On top of it all Audi was full of beans too, despite the heat and long weekend which surprised me. Such a little whippersnapper! I took him into the grass to finish my warmup and after one massive (I mean it, massive!) leap, he felt amazing. Unfortunately I managed to lose that amazing feeling as I circled the show ring. He got distracted by something on the hillside and got tight and behind me. I had to ride my pants off but for Audi's first test ever at Second Level (Test #1) it was decent. I know that there's a lot we could have done better but I was super happy to get that test under our belt. We placed 2nd with a 65.2%. I was thrilled with how well the weekend went and am excited for the next competition with Audi.
Below are my favorite images from the competition by photographers at picsofyou.com