The big bump up - advanced
i cannot even express what this means to us!
Photo by Shannon Brinkman
"It's time, he's ready.”
Four scariest words
The first time Andrew rode Tate as a baby 4 year old stallion, he told me that he had never sat on a 4* horse before, but if Tate didn't feel like a 4* horse he didn't know what was missing. It has been our goal all along to get Tate to the Advanced/FEI levels. 2014 with it's monensin scare put things off schedule and delayed us getting there, but we never lost sight of our goal or faith that Tate could do it. It would be Andrew's first run at Advanced too, and as Tiffany said, we all trusted Tate to take them both around safely. However, it didn't make it any less scary to hear those words that Tate was finally ready and to enter him at Richland Hills HT in the Advanced Division.
What a trip - we had not only the Palmer family, but good friends with us (Tina Potter), many Tate fans came to see him and cheer him on, we stabled with the Hollings (who are beyond awesome), and of course me, mom, and little Abby. Dressage went well and he scored very well and was in the top 5, then came the waiting for XC on Saturday. It was a relaxing trip and we loved exploring the area in Michigan - it is so pretty up there! Friday night, Tate and Andrew did gallop sets in a vacant field and they looked great. We all went to bed nervous and excited. As Andrew said "it is like Christmas!" Tate was ON on Saturday. He KNOWS when it is run and jump day and believe me, he was ready for this run. Warm up with Jon coaching went great and then standing on deck waiting to go in the start box, Tate was ears up, excited, and eager to attack the course - which he did. The pure joy on his face going over those fences was a beautiful thing. As he crossed the last fence, me, mom and Tiffany were at the finish and all of us were crying, screaming and jumping up and down. Tate had just ran his and Andrew's first Advanced XC like it was a walk in the park.
Sadly, that joy soon turned to concern as after Andrew pulled him up, we found out that Tate was lame. We opted to scratch SJ (there will always be another event), and later after we got home we found that he had pulled a tendon somewhere on course (we think maybe when he stumbled coming off a fence). He never once took a false step on course and never faltered so Andrew was unaware and watching the videos it never appears that there was something wrong.
Tate is fine now, and is starting back under saddle and will be competing in 2018.