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Well, you'd think I'd be more on top of it to update you all on the two CPEDI's we had in January. When we left New Jersey it seems like Taco and I moved right into the Adequan Global Dressage Facility for the month! Even though we had two amazing shows, I think we needed a bit of a break after the second one wrapped up, so I'm only just now getting to fully processing what happened.

In true Alanna fashion, winter hit New Jersey and my body decided to retaliate. That meant lots of time in bed trying to get healthy enough to make the drive down to Florida; questioning whether I was going to be healthy enough to make the drive to Florida; and counting down the days until I could get to Florida. It also meant that I wasn't sure if I was truly prepared going in to two big back-to-back CPEDI 3* immediately after arriving. I shouldn't have been concerned. I have such amazing people taking care of Taco, thanks to Sara Schmitt and Maggie O'Leary who kept him in top shape while I couldn't ride. And I have an even more amazing pony who takes care of me no matter how I feel. He always puts his best hoof forward in the show ring!

I've now had Taco long enough to see the progress and changes we've made going into our second year competing together. To see our scores increase, the judges comments get more picky on things to improve on, and our partnership even more harmonious is what was most meaningful to me. We had more competition within my Grade this show and each ride we were able to prove ourselves very competitive. We even got over 70%!

These shows were the first time we were asked to ride our freestyle under the lights at night. Many of the horses were spooked at night by the shadows, lights, and music. From the very first time we went to school at night, Taco was calm, cool, and collected. It's times like these that he continues to prove that he is truly the BEST pony.

Thank you to Sara for all your help, support, and training this show (and not laughing at me when I might have had a minor brain mush one day! haha). To Caelyn for your fantastic grooming and Taco cuddling- thanks! And Thanks to everyone who came out to support me and step in when I needed a hand with Taco, mounting, applying chapstick, holding my water and straw at the warm up-- all the important things you only get to experience at a para show ;) And to Tonya Johnston who helped me prepare with more of the mental side of showing-- it was great to work on that while I couldn't be as physical and on the horse riding before heading down to Florida.


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