Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Next stop - Virginia

After a great run at Fair Hill, I guess I assumed my horse and I would bounce back quickly and be ready to go again the next weekend. Lesson learned..... not so much. Trying to figure out a good show schedule - a DOable show schedule - has been a challenge this spring to say the least. I entered Loudon to set us up for Jersey, etc. which I ended up not being able to do anyway. But we went, we stumbled around, and went home. Dressage was in the indoor, and I appreciate everyone that said it was the indoor that affected our test, but it was choppy and erratic at best for whatever reason. In stadium I was not thinking fast, and trusted Toga to fix his lead (which he's been doing more and more often FINALLY) and by the time I realized it wasn't going to happen with me hanging on his face, we ate the first of an in and out. Nothing flowed after that, so we decided not to go on to cross country. No point in it and the course looked hard to me. Especially the bank down to the corner - which I've jumped a few times no problem, but this time the point of the corner was pointed almost straight to the bank. Walked out and watched a few horses run out there and was really relieved I didn't put my horse in another bad spot after the show jumping.

I have a great outdoor jumping ring at my farm, but there is only so much good that practicing at your own place will do. Without a certain amount of pressure and competitiveness, you just can't prepare for the big courses that well. It's really not fair to Toga for me to pop around at home and then face him with a big course at the show, and only once every few weeks. So the following weekend we drove up to Swan Lake in PA and did some jumper classes. JUST what we needed! It was a rated show, but hardly any jumpers were there. So it was relaxed and friendly, and the courses were awesome. Each round got better, smoother, bolder. Back to normal thank goodness. I wish we had more shows around that had classes over 3' it would be really helpful.

We're leaving tomorrow for Virginia Horse Trials. I'm entered in the CCI* as a qualifier for Fair Hill in the fall. I'm not letting the fact that it's at Preliminary go to my head because I know VHT is very hilly and I haven't ridden there much in the past few years. And the dressage test is one transition after another after another... so good old Toga - the King of Anticipation - will be trying to out think me every step of the way. We'll see. I just want to be clean and confident. And I hope I don't forget how a CCI works and do something dumb............ :)