I decided that Koda and I were ready to actually compete in our first horse trial. It went REALLY well for a first time out and Koda was a rockstar. Some sticky moments here and there, along with a couple rails in stadium due to me being too tense, but really I'm nit-picking. He was excellent, we have plenty to work on, but we fulfilled the goal of the weekend - finishing with a number, not a letter :)
Most of the comments on our test read included either balance and/or roundness. Some of the marking didn't make sense with the comments attached (very nice comments, but got a 5...?) but he was a good boy and we have a clear way forward.
All photos and video of our stadium round were eaten by technology, but it was nothing to write home about. We had a fine warm-up (thanks JS and JK for all the coaching and help!), but I got tense going into the ring. The jumps were itty bitty, so I don't think Koda was respecting them as much (same as how he usually "jumps" at the Kathy Playdon clinics). All in all, ended up with 3 rails, but eh! We'll work on it :)
Cross country was super fun, although the hardest part of the ride was actually the warm-up. The warm-up fences were along the track right beside the grandstand where the show office was. There were flowers, people, and many other distractions right beside the warm up so really, if we could deal with that, the course was going to be a piece of cake. Once we started our course, Koda just took it and went. It was AWESOME! Best part of the entire course were the first 3 fences on the track where we just had that fluid motion and flew. We had a bit of a sticky on jump 4, but crawled over and off we went. During my course walk the night before, I checked and I could step over every jump, so I had no problems pony club kicking Koda over if he got stuck staring at anything.
We did it!!!