Thursday, July 19, 2018

Our lesson recap and a show to prep for! Bad picture heavy!

It really sucks about the clinic being canceled but the lesson went well.  I also have a new show to get ready for, I think I said I am really focusing on non-event stuff this year because it is just too hard to find time to drive 6+ hours to go to a show for 2 hours. 

Warm ups!
2 hours to/from the closest venue and 45 mins one way to the barn, it really is too much driving for me at this point since I have so little time on weekends.  Things are way too busy to lose an entire weekend to showing :(

Trit trots
But that's okay, I am finding a couple of options. We had the jumper show, which was cool and I would do another one.  Up next is a new Prix Caprilli test in a dressage show. 

Some contact
What?!  I have heard of this only from Andrea  so it is cool to hear someone doing around me. 

Left canter getting better
It is basically a dressage test with a couple of jumps thrown in the middle.  How cool is that!?  I contacted the show organizer and got a copy of the test, I think I will try the 2' and 2'6" class and see how it goes.  Can't hurt right?  Has anyone ever done this before?  I am kind of excited!

Coming nicely!
The lesson went really well and it did a good job of kicking my butt, but the pics are horrible. Like seriously bad.
I swear M said this looked good
The look bad, the lighting was bad, ugh hate. So much hate but this is a documentation forum so here are pics!  M said I have improved so much in my outside rein since last time, 80% better. 

The trot is really coming along this direction
We worked on really forcing myself to keep it while forcing Mia to STAY there, apparently, I am really really good at dropping the contact as a reward to Mia.  Erm, not supposed to do that. 

When we went from canter to trot, for example, she loved the canter and as soon as Mia trotted, I stopped keeping her collected and on her hocks, letting her fall on her forehand and stretch.  So....we did a lot of that.

Contact dropping, bad rider
My pinched nerve in my shoulder is still not 100%, maybe 90%?  95%?  On Friday though, my arm became useless after all of the outside rein work.  Note to self, shoulder is not ready for that much of a workout still! 
The lighting omg
Thankfully it bounced back on Saturday and is back to about 90% "good".  Stupid getting older, why won't my body just hurry up and fix itself?!

So pretty when she wants to be!
The other piece of information that we gleaned from the lesson was that the left rein cannot be straight when it is the outside rein.

Shoulder in
Mia is using my rein as a blocking tool and not really bending her body, forcing her haunches to come in which also forces her neck to bend. 
Less of this please, ugh!
I need to open my left outside rein more to my knee for a while to help counteract some of her bracing. 

A little more of this
Once we can fix that, and we can keep the spring in her haunches that she had on Friday, we should be looking really good for a dressage test.  Fingers crossed?

More this and we may be ready for our show!

Monday, July 9, 2018

So disappointed, the clinic was canceled.

So many feelings.  I was super excited about my clinic tomorrow with Jim Wofford.  It would be the first time I had ever ridden in a clinic with a BNT (Big Name Trainer), I had put down I was going Training level and I actually felt like we were fairly ready!  Then I woke up last Monday with a burning pain over my shoulder blade.  Then it progressed to down my arm and making my arm go numb sometimes.  And the pain was a good, solid 6 to 7, and I have a pretty high pain tolerance.  I was able to do a trail ride on Weds but wasn't able to really use my left arm at all.  Whomp whomp.
From 2014

All this time, I hadn't heard about my ride times so I shot an email off to the organizer Weds to follow up.  I got a response back with approximate times, but that they were still waiting for some promised entries and the ride times would be sent out shortly. I finally went to urgent care on Thursday and was diagnosed with a pinched nerve and given Gabapentin and steroids.  *sigh*  At least that brought my pain down to a solid 3-4.  It made me giggle bc Gabapentin is what I gave App!  It just didn't do as much for him as it seems to with me.

From 2018
Then Friday afternoon, at almost quitting time, I got the dreaded email that the clinic was canceled and it may reschedule in the fall if there is enough interest.  Which tells me there weren't enough entries.  Damn it!  I did respond back letting them know to keep me on the list to notify if they do reschedule it. I mean, I was seriously on the fence on if I could even go myself, but I wanted to be the one to cancel, not them cancel on me!  Fri night SO and I went grocery shopping and walked for about 2 hours through various stores, on the way home I realized my pain had dropped to a 2.  Apparently I needed to go for a long walk!!

The good news is my arm/shoulder has remained at a solid 2-3 in pain, sometimes even a 0 to 1.  Being at the desk working makes it worse, but that is my day job so....  I have a chiro appointment tonight to see if that helps any more.  I was able to ride yesterday and while not 100%, I was good enough I COULD have ridden in my clinic tomorrow.  I am seriously bummed about the loss of my clinic but I am looking forward to the dressage lesson on Friday.  There is a tentative show on July 28 and then again on Aug 11, so fingers crossed things go well.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Jumper debut and success

Overall I was really happy with our Jumper debut.  It is no surprise that an eventer would have no issues with going over jumps at speed, it should also be of no surprise that it is hard as hell to remember the ever changing courses.

I left the house at a respectable 545a and got to the show right at 745a for the 830a show.  They were letting people go in the ring and jump things (?!?) so we took the opportunity and did the same.  Mia couldn't have possibly cared about any of the tiny little jumps, 2'3" did not impress her at all.  The first class turned out to be a speed class, the fastest won.  I was so very grateful for friendly competitors helping this stupid eventer in the classes.  I read the rules but I still wasn't super clear and it was very helpful to have someone clarify! 

Mia did well in the first round, until *cough* someone forgot the course and cut a jump way to close and knocked the jump standard over with their freshly polished boot.  It was a jump that had to be jumped again so as we were going along, people were scurrying to put it back up. Which totally distracted the rider *cough cough* and I went off course.  Ha!  Go figure. 

The second round was weird in that you did the first 6 jumps as a H/J course and then you did the last 5 jumps as a speed round.  Got it!  Again Mia did very well, she was quite adjustable and listened spectacularly, but at fence 9 she didn't half halt, jumped flat and knocked the tiny 2' jump over with her hind fetlock.  Really mare?!  Really.  It was a big canter stride and you still knocked it down?

The last class was the only one I cared about, it was a stakes class with a payback.  For this class they raised the fences to 2'6" and it helped so much.  Mia FINALLY started actually jumping the fences and taking it seriously.  For this round we did our 11 fences, stopped until they blew a whistle and then jumped the same course through the first 8 fences.  Mia put the pedal to the metal and we were clear, resulting in a nice 2nd place finish.  I really would have liked to have seen the scores and timing, I have a hard time believing someone went faster than us but hey.  2nd place was great as I got more than half of my entry fees back AND got back to the barn by 1030 AND got home before noon.  Fabulous! 

They aren't having any more shows this year, at least so far, but it is a venue I would go to again. I am actually looking at other shows around that are closer even though they are not horse trials.  I am so burned out of driving 6+ hours just to go to a show, it may not be ideal but it should help scratch the itch and not take up all of my extremely rare free weekends. 

That said, I have some big stuff coming up.  On the 10th I have a clinic with Jim Wofford, on the 13th I have a dressage lesson with M that comes to the barn once in a while.  On the 28th I have a possible local show and then Aug 11 I have another show that is at my barn.  They aren't horse trials, and I am not schooling training level xc, but it does give me something to work towards. 

We are currently melting (for PA) in high 90 degree temps, I rode Mia last night and she was not amused.  My plan is to ride first thing tomorrow morning (since I am off for the 4th) and make sure my jumping position is on point for our clinic.  Does anyone else have a case of the showing blues like I do?