The last few days before the show included a chiro/acupuncture session, stretching on the long lines, and then one quick dressage school in which, after riding for about 13 minutes, I declared us ready to go. Mare was soft, loose and relaxed. Check and check.
|i may or may not be propping her ear forward in this pic lol|
Given how our schooling has been going, I opted to carry a whip but not wear spurs - pretty much the opposite of my typical getup. It worked out well enough - Izzy was sharp to my leg cues and I had the whip on hand to help keep her hind end where I wanted it. I focused on not arguing with where Isabel held her nose, and instead worked on shoulders in, leg yields, and achieving more inside bend.
|mare loves to trot|
|if you squint a little it *almost* looks like i'm sitting down in the saddle lol|
The most pleasing aspects of this test are the few areas I've zeroed in on this summer. Getting better inside bend in the circles became a priority after Jenny Camp - and I've worked on it with both C and Dan. As far as our trot work is concerned, I think we're on the right path. I haven't addressed halting straight in lessons, but I've been practicing on my own. Isabel almost always swings her haunches left through the halt and we managed to avoid that this time around. Yay!
|not square, but also not crooked. baby steps!|
We usually score better on the canter circles than the canter departs, so this test tells me that my focus on the departs has paid off and now I need to start working on the canter itself too. Isabel has a lovely canter that should score as well as her trot work if I can get us more balanced.
|very pleased with this score|
per usual i added the scores and comments directly to the video
B rode her test shortly after mine (which was also awesome - her goal was to score <38 and she did exactly that with a 37.6, leaving her tied for 2nd after dressage), and then we had a nice long while to just chill out with the horses. Walking the courses the day prior definitely simplified show day logistics. Never had to put the horses back on the trailer (they seem happier off anyway) or worry about overlapping ride times or anything.
|mare was quite literally dozing for the entire day - except when it counted haha|
Trotted the X once, cantered the vertical, then cantered the oxer - knocking a rail in the process. Fine by me - I certainly don't mind the horse getting that quick reminder right before going in for our course!
|sugar cubes help wake her up|
(and wow looking at this picture makes our trailer setup look quite chaotic. i assure you - there is very definitely a method to this madness!!)
I walked this in a somewhat long-ish 3 strides to 3 strides and it seemed to be riding well for other competitors. We jumped into the line fairly conservatively tho so I opted to balance for the 4 strides, then move forward for the 3 in the second half.
|note that jumps 4-5-6 constitute a triple combination, and 8-9 is also a shortish line to finish on|
(also, i took these pictures the day prior when the jumps were set for elem, not BN)
Despite Isabel looking a bit tired and lethargic at the trailer, she really woke up to put in some nice jumping efforts through the course - even when I buried her at a couple fences. A lesson mate from OF observed that Isabel was looking quite 'scopey' haha, and you can kinda get a sense of that in the helmet cam footage considering the air time she got over some of these fences.
We maybe got a bit fast and flat to some of the jumps, but really that's a pretty typical mistake for me... #workingonit... But generally I felt great about how the ride went tho, and was eager to get out onto the cross country course!!