Sunday, February 5, 2012

Successfully Unsuccessful!

*sigh* I can't sleep because I've got a killer ear-ache, a super swollen throat and I have no advil in the house. So here's the wrap-up for today:

Today was spent at the Chagrin Valley Farm hunter schooling show. It was a day filled with both good and bad. I'm not sure which was more prevalent, but I'm going to focus on the positives....

So lets get the negatives out of the way:

*We showed in eight classes and only brought home one ribbon, an 8th out of like 23 in our Hopeful Hunter Under Saddle Class. And before you gear up for your lecture, I know its not about the ribbons, but I happen to like ribbons and like to bring them home with me...

*I froze up. A lot. I got fussy with my hands, said "whoa" more than I said "go" and I hit my poor boy in the back several times because I didn't get up into half-seat/2 point enough.

*Said poor riding led to: bucking, head tossing, and spooking

So I guess thats not as many negatives as I was thinking, but I did lump all of my poor riding habits du jour into one...


*I schooled my own horse 100% Usually Kristin gets on and warms him up a bit, gets him going nicely and then I get on and try to (fairly unsuccessfully) recreate what she's done. Today though I did everything, which is kinda what screwed us up, but thats the name of the game. I want to event. At events I'm not allowed to have my trainer get on and warm up my horse, not to mention that schooling the course isn't an option. So I've got to figure this out. Thankfully I have a good instructor to talk me through it (even when it seems that I am ignoring her comments) and I have an AWESOME horse that is pretty damn forgiving and willing to work with me on this.

*I stayed on. Watch the video, it was questionable a few times, he wanted to buck, he spooked at the viewing room, we got all crooked/wonky..... So staying on counts as a positive

*I made decisions and had it together about 40% of the time. The other 60%, well lets just not talk about that....

*I wasn't afraid. I physically rode that way, but mentally I was there, in the moment saying "wow that sucked" or "not the right decision!" At no point during my 2'3" class did I say, "what was I thinking! I should stop!"

*If I was eventing, I would have had a penalty for circling and maybe some time faults. But that might not have knocked me out of the placings... just sayin'

So I've got a lot to work on. A ton. My lesson on Friday night before the show went pretty good, I've got the idea of pace, but I'm struggling with actually getting it and keeping it. I either put on too much leg and he gets fast and flat or I half halt too much and we have nada when we get to the jump. I'm still working to find that balance of leg and half halt and not being so handsy. Otherwise we really are getting there. That is our biggest challenge at home.

Homework List

*Everything that was wonderful fell apart at the show. I get jazzed up, ride more tightly and Bastian totally feeds off of that. When I stay calm, he stays calm. He is so sensitive in that way. I've gotta step up and really get on board and stay focused and calm. At this point its mostly a case of miles and miles and miles and miles. I need to jump a ga-zillion jump courses at shows until I just don't care anymore.

*NO STIRRUPS- ugh- I've taken away my stirrup priveleges for the month of February with the exception of my lesson where I need to work on our jumping. I'll jump x-rails without stirrups right now, but not anything bigger. Call me a wuss if you want, but not until you drop your stirrups.... :P but I need to be stronger and get up in half seat and stay there.

*Canter, canter, canter, canter. I have to figure out how to use my legs and my half halt together. So lots of cantering (should be a hoot with no stirrups, at least its a short month....)

So that's my homework for the month. Had some rough spots, then we got it together, then rough, then together. All I can say is that it was a learning experience.

Totally not how I pictured this morning going, but the best laid plans often go awry and awry they did go. :)


  1. " First do what is necessary, then do what is possible, and before long you will find yourself doing the impossible."
    St. Francis of Assissi

  2. :D Thanks Peeps! We are going to keep working at it and we will get there someday!