Tuesday, June 25, 2013


I decided to go out a day earlier than planned to ride Bastian, I had intended to wait until Wednesday and give him a full week off, but I just couldn't resist, it is after all, summer break and while I've managed to keep my self busy with house things and working out my training plan for rest of the year, I was going through some serious equine withdrawal. We didn't do much, just a light 30 minute hack that started with some lovely walk work and ended with cantering some even more lovely cross rails.

Bastian and I haven't jumped in about 3 months, everytime we're schooling though, when we start on anywhere near a line to a jump, his little ears perk up and he's like "Are we going? Can we do it? Please? Please? Pleeeeeaaase? PLEASE!!!" and then's he's sad when we go past it. He loves to jump. So today he was feeling so great that I figured he deserved a treat. When I pointed him at the first one, he wasn't quite sure I was serious, but the next three after that were wonderful! He hit his spot and he was so adjustable! (Thank you dressage training!) I had loopy reins and he was listening to my seat and was really rocked back to each fence.

I need to start incorporating more jumping into our training program. The judge commented that he just didn't have enough strength and push from behind to preform the movements with power, which if we want to be competitive with all the lovelies out there in the Para-world, we need to develop. I'm going to start doing low grid work with him to get him to rock back on his hind end more and develop that pushing power. This kills two birds with one stone, not only will it make him more powerful, it will give him the chance to do something he loves-jump, which will help to keep him fresher in the dressage ring. Its a win-win all around. (and if I can sneak one in, we may go to a hunter show and do a 2 foot division, I think he would kick ass he's going so nicely!)

The rest of the plan includes developing both his and my own muscling to better handle the rigors of the upper level tests (and yes, to me 3rd level is upper level-I was a training and first level rider for the first 20 years of my riding career, it was only last fall that I moved up to 2nd and know I'm riding third....) I am excited to continue working towards my Bronze Medal through the USDF. I hope I can knock out my 2nd Level Scores this summer and then my Third Level Scores next year. Third level is looking more doable, I'm starting to understand the whole Flying change thing, we've had two very nice accidental lead changes in the past month.... Since I'm only riding one horse I have to really up my game fitness wise, I would love to ride several horses a day but its just not in the cards. Such is life, we'll find an alternate way to do it.

We're headed to the NODA Schooling Show on July 7th to ride through our 2nd Level 3 test before we perform it at a recognized show-I'm not a fan of not being prepared and not practicing things. Its not looking as intimidating as before (kinda like 2'-2'3" fences didn't look big to me after completing a BN event) and I have a good feeling about the show. I learned A LOT about Bastian and myself at the show in California. I've got a better warm up plan in mind and he really responded well to the extra special after-ride care my grooms gave him.

After the NODA schooling show, we'll be attending the NODA Dressage and Encore Show on the 20th and the 21st and then the WPDA Show in August. After that its a bit of break until Regionals in October. I'm hoping to be qualified in both First and Second Level. Our group is aiming for Region 1 Championships in Lexington, VA. I'm hoping that if we qualify, Bastian's breeder can make it out to the show to watch his classes, I try to write to her once or twice a year to keep her updated on what her lovely boy is up to and I think she would love to see him strut his stuff live and in person.

Onward and upward as they say. I feel like I've got a handle on what needs to happen, after Regionals I'm aiming at the show in Wellington in the spring as another CPEDI*** (I've saved my personal days this time so my boss can't tell me to shove off). I'm also very seriously considering moving to the Wellington area. I'm not a fan of the weather, I like the cold and I love PA, but if I want to compete with the big boys, I need to do so in as economical of a fashion as possible and I don't have the funds to take huge trips to CA and FL on a regular basis, so that is definitely an option, there has to be teaching jobs in the area and I could do tutoring part time for all you young'uns that show up for the season to ride and show your amazing ponies. The idea has merit.....we'll see where this year takes us. I'm not going to jump into anything just yet, but if you hear of an open teaching position in the Wellington, Florida area for a high school English teacher, let me know!

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