Braiding Dusty was a team effort!
Wednesday started out beautiful, sunny, and cool – finally! It’s been hot and humid up in New England, so it was perfect timing for the nice weather. The first jog-up started at 7:30 for the Novice horses, and it was awesome to see competitors young and old dressed in their Sunday best, with their horses decked out to the nines. Rudder and Dusty got braided and shined up by the whole SmartPak crew and both had successful jogs – “ACCEPTED!”.
We had a long break between the jog and dressage, but at least the horses were braided and shined up and ready to go! While the horses took the opportunity to get in a good nap, the riders got busy walking their courses and calculating their times for the Roads and Tracks, Steeplechase, and Cross-Country phases.
By the time the Training dressage started, it was getting hot! Allison was the first of our two riders in the ring, and put in a terrific test on Dusty (even, we found out at that night’s briefing, scoring a “10” on one of her movements!). As the schooling ring cleared out, Colby went in next-to-last and also put in a great test… then stayed around to keep the last horse in the ring company before heading back to the barns.
After a quick tack change, Colby headed over to the steeplechase schooling session and Allison led a group of riders on a hack over the Phase C Roads and Tracks. It was awesome to watch the horses and riders school the steeplechase course – you could almost see the lightbulb go on after the first fence, and everyone came off the course with a huge grin.
After a hike around the lovely cross-country course and another excellent competitor briefing, we gave the horses their dinner – and SmartPaks, of course! – and put them to bed to get some rest for the biggest day of their lives.