If I were to sum up the show, those would be the words I'd use. It was indeed very educational, and gave us a good look at where we are and where we need to go. Slightly more indepth summary:
My ride time was at 1, and at 12:30 we were just pulling in to the show grounds. The stable was on 4th line East, and our directions were to 4th line, so after getting lost for 40 minutes we pulled in, tacked up, found my coach, and started warming up. The far end of the warmup ring abutted one of the fields, and Cadence was not at all keen on heading towards it. However, all in all the warmup was successful. Our test went well (save two little spooks, a teeny bit of rushing, and one little stumble) and we led the class by a fair bit with a 68.5% going into stadium.
Cross country started off well, with some fantastically confident warmu p fences. We then moved onto te banks, which took us a while, but by the end of the school she'd hop up and down 'em without a problem. Cross country took a bit of a nasty turn when one of our riders (who was prepping for her first prelim) had a rotational fall on her last fence of the day. Horse and rider were both fine, but they weren't able to compete that afternoon. The fall was a total fluke; it was a relatively simple fence, and the horse just stuttered and couldn't get himself over. These things happen, but it still isn't fun to watch.
We came off of XC and Cadence was (understandably) a leetle bit strung out, but she settled back quickly. We did the two warm up fences nicely and headed into the arena for our stadium round. We entered, she got a bit tense, I accidentally rode through the start timer (oops!!!), got called over and had to explain that I was just concentrating on settling the horse, and was (thankfully) given the opportunity to restart my round. We succesfully made it over the first fence, but Cadence was a little reluctant. The first fence headed straight to the field she was spooking at earlier, and the second two ran parallel to it. We came off the first and stopped dead. There was no way we were getting close to those two fences... we couldn't even get close to that side of the arena! We were eventually excused and given premission to jump a fence on our way out, which she did beautifully. The jumps weren't an issue. The horses/bright red shed in the field? Terrifying horse-eating monsters.
What we learnt: Cadence is indeed not ready for a HT this month. She needs to get out and go school in as many different places as possible, and then we'll re-assess. Am I disappointed? Sort of. I definitely was when I found out we were first after dressage, but over all I'm simply determined to get her out and about more often.