Hi everyone!  So let me start by apologizing for not updating this all spring...between competing, graduating, and accepting a new job, things have been a little on the busy side.  I'll start at the beginning and work my way to the current happenings around ERE.  
After Poplar in February, we headed to Meadow Creek Park in Kosse, TX at the end of March.  I was so pumped about my first Preliminary with Crescent!  Cream was entered in the Novice as well.  Both horses settled in well and worked nicely on Friday.  Dressage with Crescent did not go quite as I had planned.  He warmed up really well, but we were the first to go in our ring, and as we were circling the outside I was asked to stop and speak with the judge for a moment.  As I did that, Cres got a good look at the cross country course, and it was a downhill test from there.  Our comments included "tactfully ridden", which Greta said was a testament to me riding out a horse that had no focus.  Cream's dressage was average for us, not stellar, but not terrible either.  Later that day was stadium for both horses.  Crescent had a great warm up!  He was forward and listening and Greta and I had a plan.  With the way he had been jumping at home we decided to try and get the add in the combinations, making the 2 stride at number 5 a 3 stride and making the 1 stride to 1 stride at number 8 into a 2 stride to 2 stride.  We had a rail at number 3, but I was not super concerned about that.  We rode number 5 exactly as I wanted to and then the train that runs along the side of the park came by.  I was a little worried about losing his focus, but he felt great until 8A.  I took an extra tug where I should have kicked and we had a stop.  I came right back around though, and he brilliantly put in the 2 strides, and finished the course great!  Even with the stop and the rail, I was thrilled!  We had made it around our first Prelim stadium!  Cream had a great go in the Novice.  We pulled the same rail that Crescent pulled in the Prelim because I let them both get stuck in the turn.  She was sitting in 3rd place overnight.  As we were walking around the grounds, we saw a Hit Air Vest distributor who was offering free test rides.  I decided that since it was my first Prelim it might be a good idea to wear one, so I signed up.  We had a great warm up and I was really excited about tackling the course.  Out of the box, I let his gallop get a little scrambled and we had a stop at the first.  I didn't come off, but got far enough ahead of him that the vest inflated.  I wasn't sure what to do, so I gathered my thoughts pushed my helmet up, and leaned back so I could see the fences and closed my eyes and kicked.  We jumped 3/4 of the way around the course that way before we were pulled up so I could remove the vest.  After that Crescent breathed a sigh of relief and cruised the last 6 fences home easily.  I can't imagine a more interesting first outing at that level.  All I could think was that if I could do it with my eyes closed then surely I could do it again with my eyes open!  Cream had a great, clean and fast, go in the novice to finish the weekend in 3rd.
Up next was Holly Hill at the end of April, again Cream was in the Novice and Crescent in the Prelim.  Crescent had a nice test to sit in 12th in a very competitive Open Prelim.  Cream's test was not what I was hoping for considering how she had been going at home.  Cream's show jumping came next and she was brilliant.  I was really happy with the way she handled the course.  It was a quick change then for Crescent's cross country.  I was sure that I was not going to make the same mistakes there that I had made at Meadow Creek....so instead I made a different one haha.  I was having a great go, except for a small brake issue, until we got to the water.  I was worried when I walked the course about the log, one stride to the drop, and didn't think enough about the four turning strides to the skinny house out.  He dropped in great and then I just lollygagged in getting my reins back and we drove past the skinny.  Once we corrected that he was awesome!  Cream had cross country first thing in the morning on Sunday.  She was great and put in a slightly too fast clear round.  Crescent and I then had the best show jumping of our career!  He was awesome!  We put in the correct strides and got the 1 to 1!  I almost cried when I came out of the ring!  
Championships at Poplar Place in Georgia in May was next.  Crescent was qualified in the Training Rider division and Cream in the Novice Horse.  I unfortunately came down with the flu the day before leaving for the show.  What's that great phrase "the show must go on"?  Crescent had a tenser test that he deserved because I was not riding very well.  We were sitting in 16th after dressage.  After Cream's test I was over the moon, she felt softer and more consistent than she had all season, but the judge did not agree.  Her score was not at all what we were hoping it was going to be.  Both horses did cross country the next day.  Crescent blazed around the training course in the fastest time of all 48 training rides.  He moved up to 12th.  Cream had a very uncharacteristic bobble at the big down bank and was scored for having a stop which knocked her out of the running for a ribbon.  She show jumped great though, and it was a good end to the season for her.  Crescent put in a great, again fast, stadium round to confirm that we are over our show jumping issues from March.  It was a tense few moments as we stayed mounted to see if we had moved up enough to have our names called for the awards.  I was elated when the announcer called "Crescent City Classic" for 8th place.  It was a little gutting to know that with our usual mid-30 dressage we could have been 3rd, but the joy I felt at the victory gallop was unparalleled. 
The last show of the season was a combined test that I put on at BREC in Baton Rouge as a final exam for one of my classes.  Crescent showed off in the Prelim and handily won his class.  Cream scored a 30 in dressage....yes you read that correctly...a 30!!!  She then jumped clear to win her class, as well as the lowest overall score of the show and best turned out.  I am so blessed to have been able to achieve all I did this year with these 2 horses.  I just got the ride on Cream last June and bought Crescent in August.  I could not have done it without the help of my mom, my great trainer, and the friends that have provided support in the ups and downs of the season.  So now that I've had my thankful sentimental moment, we can move on to all the other things happening around here!  I graduated on the 20th of May and flew to an interview in upstate New York on the 23rd.  I had a great interview and am excited to announce officially that Crescent and I along with my lab Annabelle are moving to New York on June 17th!  I realize that in writing this, that is only a couple of days away.  I accepted the Farm Manager and Head Trainer/Head Instructor position at Birch Hill Farm in Granville, New York.  So, I promise that I will be better about updating this with all of our new adventures in the north!!  Until next time, ride forward and trust your horse!