'what's in that plastic bag?? is it food?!?' - isabel
We parked and warmed up in a new-to-us field. I liked this because it gave the sense of being in a 'new' place (even tho it's the same farm we go to every week) and Isabel didn't bat an eye. Plus it was another opportunity to practice our dressage on grass, in anticipation of next week.
She didn't care at all about the activity. I guess she's kind of a pro now? This did a lot to reassure me about our HT next week. All the circumstances of today pointed to: new high pressure situation!!! *I* knew that today wasn't a big deal, but how would Isabel react?
Answer: Exactly as she always does. She's the same girl regardless of setting. So I just need to go in and ride the way I know how (limited tho that may be) and Isabel will follow suit.
Our flat class was LEGIT. They asked for multiple transitions, two point (thank YOU 2pointober!), sitting trot, posting sans stirrups, simple lead change across the center line, AND hand gallop. And Izzy was a pro through the whole thing: going soft and loose and just feeling amazing. I'm thinking she's feeling pretty good after yesterday's body work.
When it was all said and done, Isabel and I finished 2nd - good pony! Judge's feedback included notes that I look down too much (when will I ever learn?), and that my feet sometimes got too far behind me. I know exactly when that happened - my toe got too deep into my stirrup, and I had a hard time kicking it out given the light weight grippiness of the composite stirrups... but whatever still love 'em.
yep, i think we cleared it
Our two warm up fences felt fabulous, so I was ok going into the course. We got kinda a questionable distance to the first fence - but Isabel took the (correct) longer distance. This allowed us to get the right # of strides in the line, but it was still a funky out jump. Probably should have been a bit more organized. Jump 3 was tight, but allowed for a flowing seven strides to jump 4.
She landed on her left lead (!!!!!), but then we were a bit tight into jump 5, and wibble-wobbled down the line to add a stride. The last line was probably our most 'even' effort on course.
I thought our course was a touch wild - and Isabel CLEARED some of those jumps lol (leaving me quite discombobulated). I'll let you decide for yourself, though, as there is video evidence :)
wherein Isabel and I pretend to be hunters. LOL
Also, yep, 2'3" is not an issue for her (too bad 2'6" is still a problem for *me*).
Regardless of what I thought, it was apparently good enough for 1st place. Yay Isabel!!! Despite some lack of organization on my part, I was pleased with her attitude and felt that she made some nice decisions when I ran her into iffy spots. A few months ago (or hell, maybe even just on a different day) we would have had a few more chips in that course.
PROOF: bareback goal = accomplished
Last class was bareback 'sit a buck.' Isn't that kind of the best way to check a 'ride bareback' goal off the list? I thought so. Anyways, we made it up to our canter transition before I lost the dollar (so, uh, kinda weak), but I cantered a lap anyway just to do it. Sure, my fingers were firmly braided into her mane, but whatever - didn't fall off!! Yay me!!
ties like a pro. who knew?
Our division was the last of the day, so we wrapped up pretty quickly. I decided to tie Isabel to the trailer while I put all our stuff away, instead of dragging her around with me, per usual. She was quite happy grazing, and only reached the end of her rope once, and just calmly moved closer again.
So this show served as a pretty good dry run for next week, just by going to a 'new' place with hustle and bustle and hanging out by the trailer in a way we usually don't for lessons. All in all, I'm feeling quite good about it!! This mare is just such a rock star :)
the collection grows