I spent most of the journey there feeling completely sick with nerves, and worrying that I'd forget my dressage test or we'd get lost on the way. We actually arrived in good time with no detours, amazing! We pulled in to be told the air ambulance was just about to arrive (oh God), then drove off to park and passed Andrew Nicholson. *breathe*
Blue warmed up great for the dressage actually, apart from being completely plagued by horse flies. We worked through lots and lots of transitions, and he did feel good but was very behind the leg - a sign of his tension I think. We went in for our test, and it went ok. A few minor mistakes, but he was obedient and rhythmical, and much quieter in the mouth which is great as he can chomp and munch a lot when he's tense. The main criticism was the tempo which was very slow throughout, and I did have to work extremely hard to keep him forward, he just felt very stuffy. We scored a 43 which was fair and as I'd expected. Bonus was, my nerves didn't make me forget the test. Phew. I wasn't unhappy with it overall to be honest, although I know with experience we can easily improve and are capable of more.
The showjumping, due to the earlier stop for the air ambulance, was running understandably very behind time. We went down, took one look at the board and all the numbers above mine and turned back round again. I took him away but again he was plagued by horse flies, and this time had a lot of time waiting around. By the time we started to warm up it was very busy, very cramped, very hot and Blue was not a happy bunny. He became very nappy and his neck was white with sweat, which is so unlike him. I took him in and he just went very green in the arena, for three down where he just wasn't concentrating. That was frustrating as he could easily have jumped clear there in different circumstances, I felt sorry for my lovely boy and gave him a big pat afterwards.
Now for the fun bit - the cross country! After getting changed and both having a drink of water, I sponged Blue down and let him cool off by the lorry. We headed on down, to find there were 20 people before us! At this point, I seriously considered withdrawing and going home, but having come this far...I stuck it out, and since it was a bit cooler and there was more space than the SJ, Blue was much happier. I let him completely switch off whilst we waited. With a few to go before us, we had a little canter on both reins, popped each jump and away we went. I'm so glad we stayed because he was just an absolute machine xc, made everything feel very easy, and really took me to every fence. My only issue was trying to keep the little bugger in control! The further we went the more he ejnoyed himself and galloped, so I had to work hard to get him back and listening for the fences. A kind of nice problem to have! So a really confident clear from Blue which was a great way to complete our first BE90.
On paper I'm sure lots of people would sneer at a 43 dressage, 12 SJ and clear xc, but for a first time I was just over the moon. It's been such a long time coming that it really was just about getting there and completing, getting that first one under our belts. We have plenty to improve, but lots to build on too and I couldn't be prouder of my boy he is an absolute gem. I can't wait for the next one, and to keep going one better. I think some people take being able to go eventing for granted, and it's only about getting a ribbon, but for us just to be there was a win in itself when we've been waiting so long for the opportunity. After the heat exhaustion had worn off(!), I was a very content little lady. Thanks to my other half Wayne for driving us there, Blue for being a complete dude, our lovely sponsors and everyone else who has been supportive of our humble little journey. Onwards and upwards! :D (Still smiling)