Monday, October 7, 2013

And The Good News Is.....

Prepare for the Good News-Bad News-Good News Sandwich. ;)

Good News

We've hired two new people at work and I've been making it out the barn three or four times a week after school depending on my schedule, Bastian doesn't know what to do with seeing me so often.

Bad News

I scratched from Regionals. There were a lot of factors leading up to this decision, not the least of which involved the fact that Bastian was out of shape from the lack of work in September and he needed to be on top of the world to be competitive at Regionals. Like many other in this sport, I lack the disposable income to spend to just say "I went to that show!" If I'm spending my money on a show, I expect to do well. So long story short, I scratched and I was able to get my entry money back.

Good News

Not going to Regionals means we can focus on getting ready for Wellington in March and our Para Test. Bastian is in training and I'm getting to take a lesson every week. :)

The Rest of the Story

It was not an easy decision to make, I love competing and showing, its what keeps me focused when I ride, I am a person who likes to have a goal to work towards. This year was looking even cooler since it was the first year that National Championships are being offered too. I went back and forth, played out all sorts of different scenarios in my mind and decided to follow my gut. My gut said 'scratch.' I've ignored my gut before and regretted it, for the most part its 99% right. So its done and now we're focused on what needs to happen before March (I'm assuming March...they aren't exactly Speedy Gonzales on posting dates or prizelists for this Para-Dressage stuff). I've got my personal days saved so its all good on that front.

We're getting much better at our turn on the haunches and we've actually learned how to do half-passes so we've been practicing those as well. Bastian is thinking more collected, even though he can't maintain it for long. We're working on addressing his fitness and redeveloping his back muscles and his hind end. Its really pretty cool, because once I get his gaits where I want them, he has all his 'tricks.' In preparation for Wellington, we're focusing on his gaits and on all the small things-square halts (I have three per test and there is no reason I should not be scoring 8 or better on each one), riding my corners, accuracy, straigtness, etc. etc. Bastian is wonderful and I absolutely love him to death, he is talented and athletic, but a fancy dressage mover he is not. We can't afford to give away any points and we will be competing against fancy movers that have extensive dressage training. Bastian has an amazing Walk and a great Canter, his weakest gait is the trot, but even that is improving. I feel confident that by the time we go south we'll be ready. And I can't wait to see all my new friends too!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Hastilow Competition Saddlery is the place to go if you are looking for a new saddle, whether it be a dressage or jumping saddle. They have many options to suit you and your horse, they can do custom options as well and have a selection of used saddles! Their saddles are made in England by master saddlers and are of an amazing quality! They also offer custom bridles, Neue Schule Bits and other high quality tack. I never realized how much my old dressage saddle was restricting Bastian until I got my Concept Elevation Saddle. Wow, what a difference it has made in how Bastian has been able to move through his back and be more comfortable. I also find it much more comfortable than my Wintec Isabella ever was! So I highly suggest that you head over to their website and check it out!

It will be time to clip the B-Monster soon, I'm hoping to replicate this awesome dragon on his adorable little behind:
This amazing dragon was done by a friend of mine on his butt two years ago. I'm not as handy with the clippers, but I'm going to give it my best shot!