Sunday, July 26, 2015

It's the little things

I spent a lot of time reviewing the dressage test.  Mia is very inconsistent in the contact and isn't stepping under herself but there is no reason for us to have gotten a 4 on that first trot circle.  I did a search of the judge and she is apparently a "real" dressage judge, a "r" judge who is okay to judge to second level.  Still very annoying.  PLUS my internet is crappy enough that I haven't been able to upload the video despite trying 3 different times so I can't even share it to PROVE that it wasn't a 4 quality circle.  Grrr.  Can you tell it is really bothering me?  LOL!  I keep reminding myself it is only one person's opinion at one moment in time.  And she judged everyone harshly.

What I did see, however, was a HUGE improvement in my jumping.  As I realized at our last show, I had some very serious issues that were not fixing themselves.  And while I didn't do a huge amount of jumping between then and now, I did do some and what I did, I forced myself to work on myself every time.  Only small jumps, paying special attention to my position over each fence.  I think it paid off!

Take this picture for example.  She has come in slightly close and, as a result, is making a very nice round effort.  I am slightly butt high in the saddle but my heels are nicely down, my hands are soft and on her neck and I am not off balance.

 Take this big ass Novice table.  It is a little bigger IRL than in the pic, I think the pic makes it look small.  To me anyway LOL!  Again my heel is nicely down which has anchored my weight nicely.  My leg is vertical and my back is straight and my head is up.  This was actually a cool scenario because I lost my reins as I was landing.  In about .3 seconds, I lose my right rein and land with only one rein.  Thankfully Mia was behaving quite nicely (this was right after her "surprise" at the combination) and I survived without her taking off on me.

This is also a Novice level fence, though it is more wide than tall so it doesn't look as impressive as above.  Mia has given a good effort and I am not thrown out of the tack.  I still have my heels down and nice soft hands.  I am following her motion and it is going to be a good landing even with her looking at the camera instead of where she is to be going.

This is my new favorite picture as it shows what I am SUPPOSED to do if I ride like a fricken Novice rider instead of a damn noob.  What you don't see is my head.  In every single picture, I am looking up and ahead.  Not a single jump that weekend had me looking at her damn ears, that is something I do ALL THE TIME.  Why do I look at her ears or down towards the jump??? Who knows, but it has been SUCH a bad habit.  It wasn't around on this weekend!

Here is something I don't typically do.  I am posting some of my fails.  I know they are fails, no need to flame me, repost them saying how bad they are, etc.  I know they are bad :(

The bad pictures.

Heel's y'all.  Where are the heels.  At least I am balanced?
This one isn't *too* bad if you can overlook no weight in my heels and the fact I am looking down.  And pulling on her face. Mare came at a distance that was too close.  Eh, this could be overlooked.

What the doh am I doing?  Tring to jump behind the saddle?
Being left behind.  No weight in heels.  Don't worry folks, it gets worse.  At least I am not yanking on her face and am not about to fall off.

The worst pictures.

Fail, fail, fail.
This is, sadly, from our last show.  Now I know that conditions were horrible but look at this mare.  She is trying, she is kind of round and WTH am I doing, trying to fall off???  You don't see my roached back and looking straight down.  Can you say zero weight in the heels?  This would be such a good picture if I rode like I knew what a horse was.

Heels.  Need weight in those damn heels!
 This is an interesting pic, as is the next one.  You can see how hard the wind is blowing by the fact every single leaf in the background is turned to the right with the wind.  Me?  Well hands are in my crotch, no weight in heels, stirrup is in my arch instead of by my toes, jumping ahead, looking down, roached back, blech.

This picture is actually one of the best of the entire weekend, I am including it so you can see how hard it was raining during our ride.  Me?  Well no weight in stirrups but am not yanking on the mare's face and am not being thrown out of the saddle so that is progress.  XC went much better.

So overall, I am happy.  It is the little things, I was horrified by my performance at our last show enough to make a significant difference.  And I am seeing a significant difference!  In every picture from this past weekend I was looking UP, my heels were DOWN and my back was flat (as much as it can appear in a vest).  So I am going to keep getting better because I finally reached the bottom and am only coming back up.  Here is to better equitation all around!


  1. eh sometimes we need a few fail pics to really make the badass pics that much more awesome. i've come to embrace my own fails and encourage everyone else to do the same :D

    really tho you guys look great and it sounds like the weekend showed a ton of progress (aside from that stingy judge, ugh lol)

  2. You've made huge improvements!! Congrats on all your hard work paying off. :D Don't be so hard on yourself though. That last show was a nightmare!! Keep up the great work!

  3. Oh and I forgot to ask. Who takes your pictures? They are so awesome!!! That one where she's looking at the camera almost looks like they were right up near the jump. I love the pictures!

    1. Almost all pics are by the husband, via our Nikon DSLR, during the schooling weekends. Some are taken by friends with various cameras. You can be where ever during schooling weekends so HE DOES get right next to jumps. Usually when Mia is looking at the camera, it is bc someone is right there.