I've been in Aiken for three weeks now and so far the routine is ride in the morning, get all the work around the barn done, do some homework, catch up with old friends for dinner, and Wednesday night watch American Idol. It has been a lot of fun staying in Aiken and getting to see everyone that is either here for the winter or coming for short times for events or lessons. The barn we are at is awesome and the people of course are great. Jenn and I are sharing the barn with Mara DePuy and a couple of her students.
Wednesday was the kickoff to my season with Full Gallop. Blazer and I were entered Prelim and started off with an 8:20 dressage ride. I think my truck read 27 degrees when I finished tying my stock tie and left to get on. The cold weather is actually a good thing for Blazer and makes him show more "perkiness and pizzaz" (quoted from the bottom of my dressage test). He put in a great test, I know that there is still more horse in there that I didn't quite tap into during my warm up but I can't complain with a score of 28.2. We sat in second by 6 points going into the jumping phases and he put in a clean show jump round. The goal for cross country however, was to go for a clean and confident round rather than fast. Blazer and I set out and did just that and he put in a great effort all the way around but our time faults dropped us to third. All in all I was very happy with the day and think that it was a great positive note to start the season on. Next we are headed to Pine Top at the end of the month and then Southern Pines II a few weeks after before heading back to Virginia.