Monday, May 8, 2017

Inspiration. Progress. Planning.

So after attending both the Dressage and Show Jumping FEI World Cup Finals in Omaha, as well as the 2017 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event all in the same month, I am feeling inspired.  Inspired to improve my dressage.  Inspired to improve our jumping. Inspired to go out and try some more XC schooling.  It's hard not to be so inspired after seeing so many world class horsemen and horses in person.  I am incredibly lucky.

After World Cup, I came home, got cleared from my concussion, and immediately got in multiple jump lessons.  Soon and I got our groove back quickly and are feeling great. We'll be challenged with our current trainer, as well as with upcoming clinics as we continue to prepare for the big George Morris clinic this September.

And after I got home from Rolex (read: I crawled all over that absurd 4* table), I decided our big table at home wasn't so big.  So we jumped it.  Twice.

He had to reach a little as I think it surprised him a bit, but he came to it in a lovely forward canter and jumped it out of stride.  Never even looked at it, flew right over it like he had done a thousand times.  He felt good playing over the little stuff around the farm (we had not done the XC stuff for a couple of months thanks to my concussion), and when he was super game over the little (3'ish) log cabin now placed in the woods, I decided he was feeling confident and it was a good night to try the table.  Also, probably a good time because I was still able to see the giant 4* table in my head, and that just puts everything in perspective.

I put my traditional irons back on my saddle, and have been working Soon over ground rails during all of our dressage/flat schools.  We have been refreshing the half turn and the half turn in reverse, as well as reintroduced the canter and countercanter transitions (five-six strides on one lead, walk transition, five-six strides on the counter lead, repeat).  Already Soon is looking and feeling great, very obedient, and like we could do the clinic now.  I am really looking forward to the rest of the summer spent doing more prep work so that we are surely ready for whatever GHM has to throw at us.

I signed Soon up for his first real horse show this weekend.  This is all just more GHM clinic prep.  We'll be doing some baby jumper classes at a local (large) venue on Sunday morning.  If I can secure a stall, I may haul over there Saturday and school and consider leaving him there that night, but realistically I'll probably just haul in again on Sunday morning.  We'll knock out the classes and focus on spending the rest of the day hanging out and being a show horse.  I'm not that interested in the classes themselves, but more how he handles the whole experience.  I'd like for him to go in and jump around nice and relaxed, but even if he's up in the morning, we'll hang all day and take it all in.  I'm doing this so we can finally get "out there" and put some mileage on.  I need for him to learn to go into a new venue and jump new jumps and have it not be a big deal.  Can't do that at home or hauling to the same farm every week.

Went into Middleburg with a friend.  Had our usual perfect lunch at the pub.  I went to the Tack Exchange saying "I only need stirrup pads!" which means I walked out with a pair of white Tailored Sportsmans (to go with my new Kentucky Wildcat Blue show coat...), another pair of French blue Tailoreds, a pair of EquiFit open fronts, and three pairs of stirrup pads.  Per usual.  Don't ask me what happened when I lived in Middleburg and made weekly trips to the Tack Exchange...

Last, but not least, we crashed a fancy resort's Kentucky Derby party.  We regret nothing.

Derby dress that was a late scratch due to zipper failure...
My new favorite photo

Middleburg Tack Exchange.  Still zero regrets.

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