I wouldn't say dressage was a problem. Klein felt pretty good that morning and I was surprised and disappointed to earn a 37.60. We haven't gotten a score that high in years. The last time we scored over a 35 was...2011. But, she also tried to trot during our free walk. That's never happened before either and I think I gave her just a little too much leg by accident and I got what I asked for. Sorry girl. She was also a little haunches in down the centerline on our final turn but I still don't feel she was a 37.60. I think that bobble in the free walk killed it for us though. Well, at least it's not a real problem. That was just an unfortunate thing that happened that day.
Klein baby having a good time out on the xc! Look at those ears! The positives greatly outweigh the negatives from that day.
So how can we be schooling like this and then have TWO stops on Sunday? Well, because I'm only a mere mortal. Here we are, the best we've ever been in our communication. What does every single instructor immediately notice about us? "She looks to you for guidance. I can tell you guys have a strong bond." What did Jennie Brannigan say about us? "I like her! She MAKES you ride her! She depends on you." And what did I do in stadium last Sunday?
I got lost in the sauce. I just go out there having a good 'ol time and take in the scenery, unintentionally. My focus drifts. How do I know? I didn't count to every single fence like I do at home. At home, or even schooling at other places, I count to everything. Why does that go out the window? I don't know, but it is stopping after Wednesday night's light bulb went off. It's not nerves, I'm not nervous to jump a Novice course. If I can go early for any phase, 98% of the time I do. I'm like sure, yeah, whatevs, no problem, let's go. I really do just get kind of zen. That has to stop. I need to save that for when we're back at the trailer.
Just out taking a stroll. I even remember hearing someone's name I knew being announced that they were starting their dressage test while I was riding stadium. That also shows you my focus wasn't 100% where it should have been.
How am I going to practice one way and play another? I'm so thankful Klein doesn't just dump me and go home when I do dumb stuff like this. She's expecting me to ride like I do 99% of the time, and I left her hanging. Some horses can jump the entire course on autopilot when the rider's mind is out to lunch, and while Klein does solve a great deal of problems on her own, and when she's got a crappy spot and I tell her to go for it any way, she GOES. But she's by no means a packer, or a robot.
I have two options, I could be disappointed about last weekend, which I was until Wednesday night, or I can be thankful for the best teacher of my life. Klein is going to make a good rider out of me yet. I would honestly rather have a horse that makes me learn to ride better than one that's a made robot. Klein AND Mochi have been amazing teachers to me. Mochs may be out of the game right now, but she taught me a TON last year and significantly improved my dressage riding.
Back to Sunday...xc looked like it was going to be fun. It was a very nicely done course. The footing was great and I planned to ride her like I stole her (well, as much as you can on Novice). The only thing that caught my eye was the last fence. It was a type of table we've never jumped before. In my head I just planned to treat it like any other table and make sure I had her forward to it.
Here's the whole course:
The b element was removed for Novice, the half coffin was Training.
My second favorite jump on xc that day. That table always just rides great.
This one was my favorite fence of the day and we got to it perfectly.
*sigh* seriously? How did I get owned by this? Again, counting, well, lack there of. Seeing the finish flags and being on cruise control. Idiot move.
Riding it the second time how it should have been ridden the first.
A couple clips from xc:
Little bit of xc from today. Far from our best day. That's two crappy events in a row. Unusual, but I guess we have one more Togo then we're good for another four years, right?! #Klein #mare #percheron #xc #hemetcam #gopro #eventing #usea #floralea #eventer #horseshow #horsetrials #gallop #jump #oghorse #hearthorse #bamf #equestrian #riding #horsesofinstagram #drafthorse #jumpingpercheron #blog
Sunday overall was a uh, learning experience, but one I clearly needed. Another big thanks to The Other Half for telling me to stop dwelling and get my ass over the xc warm-up jumps, which Klein jumped perfectly. Klein and I are a team, but The Other Half is just as much my teammate on these days. There's been a couple shows where I get caught off guard by something not going as planned and he tells me to man up, make a decision, and get my ass out there. He's always right.
Big thanks to Flora Lea for putting on a beautiful, very well organized event as well.
Thankfully after we got home and I got Klein all taken care of this was waiting for me in the fridge:
If you're a wine drinker, make this. I made it the night before so that the fruit could soak in the alcohol.
All in all, I took a $200 riding lesson last Sunday. But, it opened my eyes to a habit that I wasn't fully aware of. I'm really looking forward to our next outing in a few weeks.
I owe this mare so much. I can never thank her enough for everything she has taught me not only about riding but about life too.