Saturday, August 29, 2009

I'm alive when I'm vulnerable...

"I'm alive when I'm vulnerable/ I'm out of control, I'm losing my soul."
-"Alive" Papa Roach

Our schooling show went very well last Sunday! In dressage, we put in one of the best, most forward tests we have the entire year and ended up with a score in the low 30's. He needed to be rounder through parts, and there was one trot circle where he almost broke to a canter, but other than that, that's the test I want at nationals! We got all 6's and 7's :)

Then, we went and did stadium, where we had one refusal at this brick wall. I didn't realize fast enough to swat him and get him over, but I did realize in time to shove my lower leg forward so I didn't come off! Then we went right to the XC box, walked around for a few minutes, then went.

The refusal in stadium rattled me a bit, so I was nervous and really pushing him to all the jumps and riding defensively, but that wasn't exactly a bad thing! We did everything at a really good pace, with a pretty controlled gallop, and even cantered through the water with zero hesitation. We got 2 strides in this one combination, which I was happy with. He's short-strided, so we have a tendency to put 3 strides in that combination and get a bleh spot to the second jump. It rode well, though. We ended in 3rd place! So a very good weekend. Without the refusal, we'd have been in first!

This week, my trainer has called to my attention the we've been making some holes in our dressage. Of course we have! He's started to carry his haunches to the inside in the canter, and we can't have that. He's also started to go a bit above the bit, so we spent the lesson on Friday working on making the contact even in my hands.

We did a pretty simple test: give one rein forward 2 inches. Does he reach forward and take the contact? If he does, squeeze the rein you've given and take the contact up a bit (you did the right thing!) and release the other rein for a step (good boy!). If he doesn't, ask with the leg on the side of the rein you've given to encourage him to do so. You can do it with both reins going either direction, and it really helps them to understand, "Yes, you need to hold the contact like this."

I've apparently been really lax with what I've been accepting in our dressage works as far as roundness goes. I can't really feel the difference between what he's been giving me and what he needs to be giving me. So we're trying to always ride under the eyes of my trainer and really make sure we're doing everything right on the way to nationals. Since dressage is the most important part of the score, we really need to do well.

Nationals in 12 days! Yikes. Yikes, yikes, yikes.

I'm so excited.


  1. Nationals! Yayuh!!! Can't wait to see!

  2. Good job! Nationals - best of luck!

  3. Thanks guys! I'm really getting revved up for this... :)