Monday, July 26, 2010

A Weekend Full of Not-Win

It has been a crazy week (as always).  On Sunday, Beth and I packed up Bastian and headed out to Grand Haven for the NODA Encore show.  I was showing Training Four and First Four.    Let me add in just two little bits of background:

-On Tuesday I dropped a table on my right foot.  Holy Bruising Batman.  On Thursday I went the to Dr.  and got x-rays.  Friday morning his nurse calls me and tells me I have two fractures in my foot but that the Dr. said I was allowed to ride on Sunday and that I could wear my boots.  (What an awesome Dr., eh?)  So I rode with a broken foot.  Not that it is that big of an accomplishment since I a)doubt the fractures are more than hairline and b)since I can't really feel my feet I wasn't in unbearable pain.  But still, it sounds friggin' cool right? 

-On Saturday night I went the barn after the first day of the show to lunge Bastian and pack the trailer.  We got the most badass storm that I have ever been in that night.  I left the barn at 7:30 to come home.  ALL the roads home were blocked by downed trees.  I had to turn around twice before (thankfully) I found firemen at the last tree working to clear it.  So what is normally a 20-25 minute drive home turned into an 1 1/2 hour ordeal.  It was just not my week.

So I know that I shouldn't let outside things bother me, but I did.  I was distracted and a little grumpy and just overall not 100% committed to the show.  Beth and I headed toward Grand Haven under the greyest most depressing sky ever.  No rain...yet.  As we pulled in, it started :(  

My first ride was 9:32 for Training 4.  We warmed up in the indoor since it was POURING down rain.  Grand Haven's indoor is nice!  The footing is very fun.  He felt pretty good.  We went out in the pouring rain to do our test.  Our first centerline was okay until we halted and he swung his haunches really far to the right.  almost like we were going to salute a judge at H instead of C.  Oh well, our trot loop was great, then he bucked into his right lead canter and for the next three strides he felt like he was going to buck again.  I froze and let him break (we scored a 4) then we trotted 3/4 of our canter circle at E, he was ignoring my leg and I was afraid to use my whip (we scored a 3) then we got the canter and our canter from E to C scored a 6 (thank god they break the score up!)  After that our test was pretty peachy keen.  He had a tiny spook during left canter when we started our circle, but it was miniscule.  The rest of our test was all 6s and 7s, he got a 7 on gaits and I got a 7 on rider (yay!).  Our final score was 60.8%  and we finished 9th overall. 

Aside from our right canter it was a great test for us.  Now we are soaked.  My helmet is drenched, my coat is drenched, my saddle is drenched.  This is a strong point against the Wintec Isabella.  It absorbs water like a flippin' sponge.  My breeches were a mess so they came off and I put on my second pair for my later test.
My saddle was not even close to being dry for my second test.  In fact it only just now, after sitting in the sun all last night and this morning is finally dry. 

Then we got to our First 4 test.  Let me just get this out of the way:  We bombed it.  Hardcore.  Okay, here's the rest.....  I thought we warmed up well, I was happy with him and myself, I was THINKING at least and reacting.  We go in for our test and our mojo got a bit messed up because the judge stopped us and said that we weren';t supposed to be in the ring then and it was about four minutes before we got that sorted so our flow from warm up was interupted and thats why we sucked!  No, just kidding, but it was a convenient excuse huh?  He blew the whistle and I got tense and stopped thinking and riding.  I was pretty much just a passenger doing minimal steering and guidance. 

He was very fussy with his head and ignoring my leg, a lot.  Our leg yields were stuck, I'm glad I didn't do the "diagonal" leg yield, but we basically got stuck and there was a huge disconnect between our front and hind end.  There was no trot lengthening.  Our walk was great!!!  Free walk looked good.  Our left canter stunk.  There was no lengthen, he broke a ga-zillion times on our loop.  We picked up the wrong lead after the change of rein at X, our canter lengthen on our right was great!  We were headed towards the barn so I just kinda let him go and figured I would find a way to get him stopped at the other end.  Our canter loop was much better (as in we didn't break!) but we did break at C, our stretchy circle was good and our final centerline was okay.  Our final score was a 50%.  I haven't seen the actual test yet, I had to leave before scores were posted.  I am assuming I was last in the class though....... 

I watched the video of the test this morning and surprisingly it wasn't as hideous as I thought it was going to be.  Yes, we had a ton of mistakes, stupid mistakes, but there were a few nice moments and when I did ride and think and he listened to my leg we looked good.  So we are (or will be) capable of doing this test and doing it well.  We need to develop our lengthenings more.  They need to happen the instant I ask, not halfway across the diagonal or longside.  I need to balance my leg yields more, keep the hind end in rhythm with the front end.  And keep my leg on at the canter.  I know that he'll break, I know better.  I need to develop a better flow through the actual test itself, think ahead more movement to movement. 

So lots of work, but I know that he and I are up to it and that we can and will accomplish this.  Will it be when I want it to be? (Two weeks from now) Don't know, but we are sure as heck gonna try. 

Our next shot at this is the WPDA Summer Sizzler at Grand Haven August 14-15.  We've got a lot of work to do between now and then!

No comments:

Post a Comment