Our double-header weekend was exhausting, but it was definitely worth the lack of sleep and potential for frostbite!
My fellow hunt seat teammates and I were all glad that the double-header was at the University of Michigan because it meant that, while we had a meet both Saturday and Sunday at the same barn, we weren’t going too far from home. It’s a place we’ve competed at frequently so we were pretty comfortable with the routine going in – though we were admittedly nervous about our coach, George, being gone on a recruiting trip for the weekend. Thankfully, Danielle (the coach of the dressage team), daringly stepped up to take over.
(I say “daringly” because it takes a bit of daring to take us all on not just for one day, but for two!)
Not to worry, though – Saturday was a very successful day for both the team and for me individually. I placed second in my class on the flat, which qualified me for Regionals in the spring!
This is a big deal – not only because I will compete in intermediate flat at Regionals (which is the equestrian equivalent of the post-season), but because, for the remainder of this season, I will be competing in open flat. Open is the highest level in the intercollegiate competitions and moving up (which I had to do for Sunday’s show already!) was both exciting and intimidating. Besides me, two other riders on the team also qualified for Regionals and the team placed first out of 12 teams on Saturday – proving to all of us that maybe some dressage coaching was a good thing in the equitation ring!
Sunday morning, everyone was admittedly tired and it took a considerable amount of effort just to get us off the couches that the University of Michigan had placed for seating – especially when we discovered that the more people we could get on the couch, the warmer we were. Once the day got started, the team was ready for another successful day. Though we ended up in third place as a group, the individual riders placed very well. We currently have several team members who are very close to qualifying for the Regionals – and we still have three shows left to go! By the end of the season, I’m sure most of us will be heading to Regionals (and hopefully on to the Zones from there)!
For me, the next couple months will be filled with practice for the competitions still to come. For now, happy Thanksgiving everyone!