Thursday, October 6, 2011
I would have updated sooner, but my internet was broken :( and I am waiting for pictures....so once I have those pictures I'll post them, they show a very cute, very perky-eared Bastian :)
Anywho, Bastian came home last Monday to BEC. It is so good to have him home. Wolf Creek took excellent care of my handsome man, but now he's all mine again :) We crammed in some major training and lessons last week.
Our lesson on Tuesday had its ups and downs. I was jittery and nervous and Bastian was looky and quite fresh. Somehow we managed to not die. Kristin had us doing a line and my brain just kept freezing and I wasn't riding, I started to be a passenger and then I became a passenger that was saying "whoa" a little bit too much. But then we finally got it over our last few jumps and I managed to relax enough that it was manageable.
I had to work the next two days so I left him in Kristin's capable hands and she rode him and jumped him and he was wonderful! Which is great, but also proves to me that I'm the problem. Bastian will be wonderful and good to me and take care of me if I give him confidence and keep myself confident.
I had another lesson on Friday, just a quick 1/2 hour to make sure I wasn't going to die at the Combined Test on Saturday. He was superb. We did a line and an oxer. He felt perfect and my confidence was much much better. We ended by soaring over a 2' square oxer. I know, I know, tiny stuff, but a HUGE accomplishment for me and my Bastian. So the B-man got a bath (it hadn't turned horribly cold yet!) and I got all of my stuff packed and ready for the show.
Let me just say that Saturday was FREEZING. It was rainy, windy, and about 42 degrees. My dressage time was 3:42 and then stadium was between 4 and 5. Which was nice because I got to sleep in before a show, not something that usually happens. We got the show and I had a plan to be on 20 minutes before my dressage time so I could be warmed up and ready and somehow I totally botched that up. I ended up hitting the warm-up ring at 3:40 and riding my test at 3:42. I managed to do two 20 meter circle in trot and one canter transition before we went in. Poor planning on my part!
For lack of a warm-up, my test went pretty darn smooth. Granted I was riding Beg. Novice Test A, but still Bastian and I are out of steady practice. We scored mostly 7's with a few 6's here and there. I even managed to finagle a 7 on rider, which is pretty good for me, usually the judges knock me pretty hard for my legs being all over the place. We ended up with a dressage score of 34.
And let me just rant for a moment on how much the small arena bites. Everytime I had to do something I was like okay, we're going to transition from canter to trot before B, I would check my position with the letters and I was already at B! There is just not enough time to do anything, I'm so used to the roomy large arena where you get a bit more time to showcase your horse's gaits and show how steady and wonderful you are. Oh well. Its something I have to live with if I'm going to event, I'll do my best not to harp on it, but seriously...My large striding Thoroughbred and I need more space. LOL I'll just have to think of it as being like one of those freaky hunter eq. pattern I used to have to do at 4-H shows where you had like 10 feet to pick up a canter from a walk then at the next cone simple change, 10 feet to the next cone then stop and back up five steps. Those things were funky.
Anyway, right after my dressage we scurried back to the trailer to change tack. (Thank you grooms!!) Then back to the warm-up. Thankfully the stadium was a "when you were ready" kind of thing. We did not start out our warm-up very well, he slammed on the brakes in front of a 12" crossrail. I felt pretty stupid and it did not set a good tone for me. So we came at it again and then he over jumped it because I was being a fraidy-cat. After about 6 more jumps, we mastered the cross-rail, so it was onto the vertical. Mind you, its a 2 foot vertical. We trot in, I'm nervous again we get to the fence and Bastian decides that 2' is too tiny and leaps over the jump, I am pretty sure he cleared the standards, I was too busy thinking OMG that was huge. So at least he didn't refuse.... Finally we mastered the vertical and then we moved onto the oxer in the warm-up.
I'm super keyed up by now and questioning how good of an idea this was. Bastian is fresh and eyeballing everything because he is of course playing off of me. I really have to hand it to Kristin, she managed to talk me through everything. I cried at one point and seriously considered getting off and letting her do our schooling round, I have no desire to get hurt because I'm being a schmuck and not riding.
But I stayed on and went into my warm-up class. There was only one oxer on course, everything else was wee-tiny little 2' verticals (I'm still convincing myself they are tiny) that we can trot over, we would need to canter the oxer. He didn't hardly look at anything and the course was so nicely set up that I had plently of time to slow him down after we landed and get ourselves collected and prepared for the next fence. They weren't always pretty, but we made it over. He only overjumped one fence (and not the oxer!). We stayed in the ring for our actual stadium round and it rode wonderfully.
I had one round under my belt, nothing bad had happened, I was feeling pretty good. Our actual round went awesome until the last fence. I saw it coming up and realized we had made it, I knew he would jump it, so I just sorta let him go and we pulled a rail :( Sad face. We finished in third because of the rail. But I honestly cannot be happier with how things turned out. Bastian and I totally survived and most of the jumps were good, the ones that weren't so good we handled and worked through. I need the not so good jumps to get used to handling them and not dying. I'm getting much better at keeping my seat when he overjumps.
I'm also glad I didn't get off and hand him off to Kristin. I know that she can make him do anything, its more important that I learn how to get him to do those things, I have to learn how to deal with him. So overall it was a fabulous experience and my eventing plans will continue to move forward. More lessons, schooling, and training and we are going to be awesome!
Looks like XC schooling on Monday is go! Hooray for government holidays and wonderful instructor/trainers :)