Tuesday was I think the best ride of the week, by the end he was light and pushing from his hind end, we were doing some awesome transistions. Wednesday we jumped a cross-rail a little, and Thursday I had my lesson.
I've felt off balance and while balance is important in all aspects of riding, it is something that I have to be especially aware of with Bastian. So the lesson started out on the lunge and we got me sitting up correctly and not throwing my body away at the canter. I have a tendency to just kind of kick and close my eyes while repeating silently to myself "please canter, please canter, please go, please?? PLEASE!"
As soon as I straightened up my back however and actually sat where and how I was supposed to, I put my leg on for canter and he was like "Yes Ma'am." Which totally translated into my ride this morning. Our canter departs were so much improved. I just had to focus on keeping my body where it belongs.
Our lesson on Thursday ended beautifully with some trot and canter work off the lunge, I really needed that lesson to get myself back on the right path.
Anyway, I'm feeling pretty good about our upcoming show season. My goals are to:
- Have fun
- Win a year end award through one of the organizations I am a member of
- Qualify for Dressage Regionals at Training and First Level in the Adult Amateure Division
- **Possibly attempt a BN event in the fall** (and this one is a huge IF)
Goal number two makes me sound like a spoiled little kid, I know. I want the pretty ribbon! I have watched others earn year end awards all my life and I've always wanted one. It shows that I was consistently good all season long. I've honestly never had a horse that I could do that with before Bastian. He is the first horse I have owned that will actually be competitive and do well in the areas I am aiming him at. And I don't mind if I earn a Reserve Champ in a division, its a still a year end award. So hopefully we'll totally rock the 2' hunter division somewhere! LOL.
Number three is part long-time goal for me (as I decided to really pursue dressage two years ago) and part bandwagon. All the cool people I know have gone on to qualify and show at Regionals in dressage. I wanna play too. I think that we have a good chance of qualifying at Training and an okay chance at First (I am gonna have to ride my tookus off to do it). I don't think we have a snowballs chance in Hade's of winning the championship classes. I'm seriously doubting even being in the top 5. Top 10, closer to ten in Training? Maybe. First- ROTFL, I'll be an "also ran." It would be nice to not be in the bottom five..... LOL. But it is a total social event and while I love competing and showing, I get a total kick out of watching my friends compete and being there to wipe their boots, braid their horses, clean stalls and applaud when they win. So maybe we won't be competitive at Regionals, but this goal really goes back to goal one: Have fun.
Number four is a HUGE maybe. I mean huge. This is if our jumping is steady and wonderful all summer. I feel comfortable moving up to 2' 6" and someone else has successfully taken him BN at a recognized show. I might not get to this one until late spring of next year, which is fine by me. I have no need to rush anything. I want to take my time and do it right. But I don't see why someone who isn't as wimpy as me couldn't take him BN. He is a goer when fences are involved, as long as you keep your leg (it doesn't even necessarily need to be "on"), he'll jump. I'll definitely be doing some starter events and mini-trials at the 2' level.
I'm really just completely jazzed about this year. I have a great horse, a decent income and my summer off to focus on my riding. WOOT!
I am sending in my entry to ride in a Hunter/Jumper clinc on April 17th with Cindy Foster. The clinic is being held at my barn, so I feel like it would be a bit of a waste to not ride since I don't have to trailer there.
After that May is shaping up to have our first two "official" shows of the season. May 8th at Grand Haven (schooling dressage) and May 16th at Erie Hunt and Saddle Club (hunter/open show).
Bastian is doing his part to get ready too. Today he let me finish pulling his mane. I love the way it stands up, I think it makes him look European. Not everyone seems to agree with me though..... lol