Saturday, October 23, 2010

Anticipation!!!!

I haven't posted an update in a while because, well, there wasn't anything worth updating about.  Since our last show, we were in a quite a slump for the month of September.  I have to own up and say it was mostly induced by me.  And as long as I felt crappy, Bastian was crappy.  We did have a few good moments here and there, but I think overall its best to forget September even existed this year and move right into October. 

Here is one of our better moments (right before a bad one).  I was going to take Bastian to the EHSC Hunter Pace, so I decided we needed a quick jumping refresher so that I would feel confident about cantering over the tiny sticks and other 18" jumps they have there. 

video
I think he looks pretty dern good for having not really jumped since April.  He was soooooooooooo happy to be doing "not-dressage." LOL   But he took a funny step somewhere in all of that and came up lame in his right stifle. :(    So we ended up not going to the Hunter Pace together, but luckily I know some really awesome people and I was still able to ride in the pace on the sweetest little Paint mare, Poco.  I had a blast! 


I blistered his stifles again and he was not a happy camper.  But overall he was a good sport about it.  Finally at the end of September he was sound, pushing evenly from the back and not "sliding."

Now we are a month away from Regionals in Williamston, NC.  I am very excited to go, I have never before in my equine career achieved anything like this.  I go to Regionals fulling expecting to have my ass handed to me.  I'm not being pessimistic.  I'm being realistic.  Bastian is a great guy who has good gaits (consistently scores a 7!!), but he is a Thoroughbred, I make some dumb mistakes, and this is really my first year showing in almost 4 or 5 years (wow, it was forever ago!)  I know that I cannot compete with the 25 other (yes, I counted entries....lol) Training Level AA in my class.  They are likely to be better mounted and more well funded than I am.

I am INCREDIBLY happy with where Bastian and I are at.  I mean, honestly, a year ago at this time I was barely cantering because I was afraid.  This is his first full year (excluding lameness lay-ups) that he actually worked the whole time.  Up until this point in his life, either he was broken, I was broken or I was broke ($$).  So there was no consistency.  So it has been a tremendous year for both of us. 

So my plan at regionals is to be technically spot on.  I need to keep him straight, accurate, and soft and maybe  with a little bit of luck, I'll manage to get myself into the top ten.  Maybe.  I hope I can at least pull off a Qualifying score for next year.  

We leave on Wednesday the 10th to trailer for 8 1/2 hours.  (yay...:( )  I show on Thursday, just a warm-up type regular class to get him out and doing something.  Friday nothing, then my Finals class is on Saturday.  I'm very excited, I love going to shows with my barn, we always have such a great time.  Then we come home on Monday the 14th. 

I've been taking lessons each week in October and am going to bump up to two a week for next week and the following, plus Bastian is in 1/2 training.  I want this to go so well, I don't want to leave anything out or skip a step.  Fingers and toes are crossed that everything goes well!

Next weekend I finally get to clip him.  He is such a wooly mammoth!!  He gets super sweaty when we ride too and takes forever to dry.  *ugh*  But next weekend I am taking every lick of hair off of his body except his mane and tail.  Legs, face, body, its all gonna be naked!  I'll be sure to get before and after pictures.  Then, lucky me, I'll be hairy for days....lol

Here is a picture of the Wooly guy in his awesome new electric blue pad and polos.  Aint he cute!
Last weekend, on the 16th I had the opportunity to ride in a clinic with Gina Krueger.  I got a good tip on my riding position and have been working to keep myself more on the front of my thighs.  So all in all we've been on the right track. 

His transitions are getting nice (Thank you Kristin!!!!), especially if I keep my outside rein and keep my leg on (wow, I know, who would think that actually riding would make such a difference).  I need to get better with my timing, I'm usually half a second too slow in my reward/softening and a stride too late in my corrections, as in I don't stop it before it starts!  But he is overall feeling fabulous.  We ran through our test last night and other than me not preparing for my transitions a few times, it went pretty nice.  I had the rare chance to ride in the arena alone last night, with the weather changing, it can get crazy in there sometimes so practicing my actual full test doesn't really happen.  Our trot loops were nice and balanced, stretchy circle was nice.  It was canter up and downs that I messed up, I just sorta froze, I was too focused on "OMG I have to transistion NOW"  but I did it a few more times and it got better.

I'll be sure post some before and after clipping pictures, I just can't wait until he's not a hairy dragon monster anymore!