I had planned on ending my season with Stromboli at Heritage Park in KS at the end of October. Dressage went well, but I got very stressed before my test due to the bit checker having some issues with my unconventional leather bit and the bell for me to go in the arena seemed to be greatly delayed. Needless to say, I turned the wrong way and got my first error of course --on a dressage test I knew front & back and had ridden a dozen times before. We still picked up our best score at Prelim yet, by 6 points. This was a very bad sign.
I felt confident after a good run at Feather Creek, but by the time I walked the course at Heritage Park, the jumps looked HUGE.....and I mean HUGE...and set on weird half-strides --not good for my "attack the course" kind of horse who has been known to put one-stride in two-strides multiple times on course. Things were going well, until they weren't. I was blazing fast...and completely neglected to slow down and set him up for a turn to a very difficult ABC coffin. I blasted through the turn, tried to correct, but came in so poorly my horse had no way of jumping the A-element. Poor Stromboli picked up his very first 20 on course. I circled, approached, and he rode perfectly through it. He blasted around the rest of the course like it was nothing. 50% of the division picked up stops, run-outs, falls, or some kind of elimination on course, so I was in good company. Show Jumping the next day went fairly well with just one-rail. I ended up 11th out of 20 riders.
I left this event very proud of myself for finishing with confidence and not letting one mishap ruin my entire weekend, but I still felt like I let my horse down. A small (ok, really a big) part of me was a bit worried about my mental state & nervousness in competition.