Monday, April 23, 2012

I have to keep everything in perspective.  I had a stop in stadium this weekend, but Toga jumped the course like it was a novice course after we fixed that first fence.  I fell at Southern Pines - at the jump where NINE riders fell before it was taken off course - but Toga gave me the best dressage test EVER.  We didn't get to show jump that weekend, but I spent two weeks training for it and it is paying off now.  I pushed him past a distance yesterday, but after I realized what I'd done, I calmed down and rode, really rode.  We haven't been in the ribbons at Intermediate for a while, but all the phases are getting better and better all the time.  Patience, patience.

I didn't write my big long story of Southern Pines.  I spent over two weeks training with Bobby Costello, with Ari and Toga both.  We went to the first SP event and Toga rocked fifth in the Preliminary, and baby Ari got a brown ribbon in his first recognized show ever.  Both of them were a blast to ride that weekend, and even though I didn't get to show Ari at the next event, I rode almost every day in the great sand footing in the Foundation.  What an amazing training tool sand footing can be!  I have never noticed such a difference in strength as I did when I got Ari home after that.  He went from dragging a bit into his canters to simply stepping into them, and from barely being able to stay balanced in a twenty meter circle to cantering ten meter circles with no trouble.  Toga show jumped a lot in anticipation of our stadium at Intermediate.  Even though I didn't get to ride it, we were ready.  A little more confident, and a little more focused.  It all helps.

The big adventure this summer will be Bromont! My entry is in the mail and I got some good advice from friends this weekend about what kind of paperwork I need for the travel.  I've heard it's an amazing venue, and I can't wait!!  We'll do the CCI**  there - I love the longer cross country and after Toga dragged me around this past weekend at Fair Hill I'm pretty sure he'll be plenty fit. And we CAN do the dressage.... I got four 8s this weekend...unbalanced, unfortunately, by a couple 4s from a lead change that shouldn't have been, and breaking into the canter in an exuberant medium trot.  It's all there. So we're taking all the good parts of each show and will put them together...first at MCTA in two weeks then another Fair Hill before we're off to Canada  : )  Ari will do his first Novice at MCTA - watch out for this guy he is pretty fancy and TONS of fun to ride.  It will be nice to start a little farther up the ranks after dressage....he's Toga's alter ego in a lot of ways - very laid back and warmblood-ish.  Not a lot of fire breathing but very kind and compliant.  And he likes to jump BIG bonus.  I hope to take him to the AECs this year along with T.  Lots of big adventures coming up!!