I'm up in Dublin at the moment, still recovering from National Championships, landed late Sunday evening and then turned right around to get up to Dublin to be indulged in a week of theatre. Shawn (my amazingly talented partner) just opened in a new play and the musical he wrote opens again at Bewleys Cafe on Grafton Street.(Follow the link for details) So al the horse gear was unpacked and hastily put away so I could repack and head out the door.
Poor Rex is exhausted after the long week in Cavan. The last day of competition was a little disappionting for us but ultimately a good lesson to learn. Two judges, one English and one of our own well known Irish judges took a dislike to his way of going. For me he felt more willing, more rideable than the Friday but it goes to show, even the little feelings of accomplishment don't necessarily mean winning scores. I am very happy with him nonetheless, he behaved like a gent compared to last year. Again we treaded the line between keyed up and ready to go and tipping over the edge into tired and past the limit. With a horse this size, it is difficult getting the fitness levels right, by day two of the show he was fast asleep in his stable and well tuckered out from all the festivities.
It was nice to have a few supporters travel up from home to see him and it broke the potentially icy, lack lustre atmosphere of the dressage diva's. I do sometimes worry that we aren't really doing anything to encourage people to come to admire dressage. I had some non dressage friends there and they felt quite a "breeze" around the warm up arena! Luckily Rex was in his element and didn't bother with the madness of loose children, loose dogs and the odd loose horse dashing by his stable. He's back at home now enjoying a few days off while I'm here in Dublin behaving like a proper non horsey grown up.