Friday, April 21, 2017

"moving up"

I almost feel like writing anything at this point will be a jinx..... but. Well. Y'all already know that I process my thoughts by writing them out here on ye olde blog. So. Jinx, or no, here they be.

settling in at bn!
Charlie and I go to our second ever horse trial this weekend. And we're actually entered for all three phases! Tho, Jinx #1, the forecast is mercurial and changeable and organizers have already let us know they will run it as a CT if the rain gets too heavy. Which is fine and all. We'll get to 3-phases when we get there, even if it's not this weekend.

Of course, Jinx #2 is Charlie's fat leg. I didn't necessarily love the look of it on Day 2, but he's sound on it and it was actually much reduced in size after a ride. Methinks standing wraps will be our friend the night before the show!

practicing over challenging grids
We're going back to Loch Moy too, which obviously fills my heart with happy thoughts. I just really love that venue, what can I say? Look no further than the gratuitous nostalgic pics littering this post below from Izzy's and my favorite highlights there.

learning to slice airy verticals
The thing with Loch Moy tho, is that their intro and elementary divisions are both REALLY soft. Sure, the elem might have one or two actual 2'3 fences on it, but it's mostly logs. And is typically (tho not always) run on the same separate circular track as the intro. Meaning: point, shoot, jump. Point, shoot, jump. No questions.

first time EVER in the 3' ring!
Which, incidentally, is perfect for Charlie right now. He's not particularly schooled to the niceties of cross country yet. The low-level height is not an issue for him at all, from teensy to slightly less teensy. But we have extremely limited experience in putting anything technical together. So point-n-shoot works quite nicely for us.

she made it easy tho
Which means that I entered the 2'3 this weekend. It kinda makes me feel a little sick honestly haha, even tho I've been jumping the horse at that height for a little while now and he's never even bothered to notice.

So ya know. It's a *me* problem. And Charlie's a good boy. So it'll be fine. I just have to do my job in the saddle, which may or may not be my motivation for posting all these pictures of me working towards a different move up all that time ago. Actually I *can* do the job. I just need to remember that!

schoolin ever upwards
So technically speaking, Charlie and I are "moving up" at this show, up to the 2'3 from our debut at the 18"-2' height. It's not going to last tho, not really a true "move up." I mean, it could be, but I'm holding off for now. Playing my favorite overly conservative game haha.

school high so shows feel easy, right?
Because our next event will be at Fair Hill in a couple more weeks (entries are already in). And I also LOVE Fair Hill. Their 2'3 Intro might be one of the best around. The jumps are all unique and gorgeous (not just a series of log after log), and the level asks almost everything that BN asks - just with slightly smaller fences and more generous distances.

game mare
All that to say - Fair Hill's intro is really really fantastic if you're basically feeling ready for BN but just want one last big confidence building run to test that everything works. Actually, I feel a little bit the same about the intro at MCTA's Shawan Downs starter HT (also coming up in a few weeks, gah!).

If you're curious, you can see a lot of the intro track from when Isabel and I ran the BN course at Fair Hill last spring (sadness, our last competitive xc run together.... but what a great run it was!). A number of the jumps were either shared with BN or right next to the BN jump, plus we added in that extra Intro house right after the water just so Izzy could get that practice. It's a good watch!

included bc this picture will always be a favorite <3
So..... My conundrum is that Charlie is probably FINE with the complexity of Fair Hill's intro.... But the reality is that he's not at all actually schooled yet. So we'll do the 18" there (they don't even bother calling it 18"-2'). I feel slightly sheepish about that haha, but not enough to change my mind.

ok you caught me.... i've gotten a little sidetracked down memory lane
Charlie and I are not in any rush at all to "get there." Right now I'm still very much focused on "going through the motions" of eventing, while feeling reasonably sure that Charlie will continue growing quite confident and eager to tackle more interesting and complicated courses. But for now, we'll keep it simple.

ahhh but it's a pretty memory!
 Anyway. Long story short. Charlie and I are technically moving up a division this weekend. And I've got all the associated nerves haha. Except that it's actually kinda liberating knowing this is just one more stepping stone - and that our next outing after will probably be even easier still.

Actually maybe the real challenge is that this will be our first time cantering in a dressage test haha. We'll..... see how that goes. Let's just say Intro C is not my favorite test. At least at Fair Hill they offer an "Open Elementary" division for folks who want microscopic jumps but still want to canter in the dressage test. And they'll even let us do a BN test! Much preferable to the Intro C test, imo.

So we'll see how it goes. Maybe the weather will spoil everything, who knows. But I'm looking forward to a full and hopefully fun weekend! I'm curious tho - especially at the lower levels, what do you look for in preparing for a move up? Or does it hardly even matter when the jumps are so small? Have you been mostly slowed down by cantering v not cantering in a test? Or by courses that offer BN technicality at Intro heights?

38 comments:

  1. You guys can do this- it will be fun and challenging and Charlie will be all 'hey I got this, hold my beer'. :-D

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    1. Omg haha yes! That's exactly what's he's sayin lol!

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  2. You two have got this. I can't wait to hear all about it.

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    1. thanks! i'm excited. they actually just posted the xc course online and it looks perfect!!!
      https://en.mycoursewalk.com/coursewalks/8650

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  3. Have a great weekend! Fingers crossed that weather does not happen.

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    1. thanks, that's my hope too!! we shall see! a little rain won't be a big deal, we just don't want so much that they close the xc courses...

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  4. Have a great time! Charlie's got this! Just grab mane!

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  5. ohhh I love all these pictures! Happy memories. :) You and Charlie will kill it!!

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    1. so many happy memories :) here's to another year filled with new ones!

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  6. you will be fine. the one this weekend sounds perfect to do the 2.3 (Point and shoot). And not a lot of techy questions AND CHARLIE jumps better bigger remember?? you will be fine (Fat leg aside)

    Fair Hill. You made the right choice. the lower division is a perfect first time at Fair Hill. Will it be boring? YEPPERS But you will have terrain changes and a lot of looky lou stuff out there. You need to get the forward going and not worry about the size. SO VERY SMART MOVE. you have plenty of time to move up to Intro for FH. I can tell you this. The FH intro is a tough one in my mind. Remus and i have done it several times and it is a good course (as you said) but there are some tech questions for sure. And the water to a jump and the ditch and the last freaking jump on Intro is this HUGE (tm the900facebookpony YUGE!!!!) table. (Okay it is not that tall but it is WIDE as MF.). I always see it coming and it is usually fence 14-15 and I am like YOWZA. SO I think you made the right choice!! AND I AM SO HAPPY I will get to see you go at FH! YAY. very long way of me saying you are a very smart person :)

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    1. lol thanks!! brita keeps telling me the same thing about charlie jumping better over bigger fences, and she also reminds me that bigger is in some way easier (bc i know i'm not the only one who struggles over ground poles and itsy bitsy cross rails lol). i'm getting there mentally tho. and honestly? they just posted the course pictures online and it looks PERFECT. i'm officially so pumped!! https://en.mycoursewalk.com/coursewalks/8650

      re: fair hill, yup yup yup yup. i'm like 83% positive that charlie COULD do it right now. but.... that other 17% says he gets overwhelmed or freaked out and quits (probably with a big side helping of bad riding and pilot error). which is like, the absolute last fucking thing i want to happen. and actually? i'm legitimately excited at the prospect of a "boring" three phase on my green bean ottb who only just started jumping about 4 months ago :D

      can't wait to see you there too and meet the infamous Remus!!

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    2. alas Remus wont be at Fair Hill. Just me, I didnt sign up but I will be there with bells on to spectate as I have a whole bunch of you competing (and am bringing a barn mate's pony in my trailer)! I am seriously considering a cc event down in your neck of woods sometime. It would be fun!! OR if you come up for Plantation or Fair Hill Int't etc we can do a quick spin to meet Mr Remus then he is 10 minutes from FH and 15-20 from Plantation. Can't wait to read all about this weekend have fun! :)

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    3. Aw boo, why didn't you enter?!?!? Lol it's cool tho. We will be looking forward to a good fun day no matter what!

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    4. Remus is not ready to do that intro course. We will aim for the July 1st one. No worries. I am coming cause i am hauling. Maybe i ask if Remus can come for the day just to hangout ;)

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  7. Gratuitous Isabel pictures are great!

    And yay for all 3 phases! You'll be fine! I totally agree with dropping down a division for Fair Hill, you know it's not the most simple course and he'll have other things to contend with other than point shoot jump. Don't let it bother you! You want all these experiences to be boring for him so his confidence keeps growing. You're making good decisions for him :)

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    1. thanks!!! that's exactly my thought process!! if i walk away from that event feeling like it was beneath the horse or too easy, it will be money well spent imo :P

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  8. Just remember that for the horse, the height difference really doesn't matter to them -- 3" doesn't require a lot more effort. It's everything in between that is the challenge, but I know you and Charlie are up for it!!

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    1. lol no need for reminders there - charlie hasn't noticed the height of ANYTHING we've jumped (sometimes to ill effects.... haha... but let's just ignore that lol)

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  9. Good luck! I can't wait to hear about it!

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  10. You guys will do great! Remember the jumps look like tiny specs to Charlie (because he's so tall!) so they are NBD to him. Have fun!!

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    1. Lol idk if it's bc he's so tall (bc I have seen equally sized horses spook and refuse too!) - he's just a cool dude. He likes the jumpies ;)

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  11. Good luck! And have fun :) You guys will rock this! And as far as Fair Hill, I think you made the right call. These first outings are all about giving both of you the best possible chance at a fun, positive outcome. I think that the best thing will for you to finish Fair Hill and know you both want more :) That's a great feeling!

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    1. Agreed completely - I remember when Brita started Wick, she always took her time with him. And he would come off his early xc courses looking for all the world like he wanted a second trip haha. That's what I like to see!!

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  12. I seriously love your attitude. The courses and jumps will still be there when you're ready and there's no point in rushing a nice guy like Charlie (or any horse, but I'm kinda an incorrigible hippie on that point). Go out, be confident, have some fun. :-)

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    1. Thanks! And yea, no rushing this big guy. He's a good boy with a good brain, but he's sensitive and doesn't do well with pressure especially if he doesn't fully understand or thinks he's been bad. So I just want to keep building him up and getting him thinking!

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  13. Good luck at the show. You're lucky to have so many options. I wish we had more here. It took us a long time to move up bc Nilla couldn't canter. Arguably Nilla still sucks at canter, but we can at least stay in the arena now.

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    1. we certainly do have TONS of options around here! we'll see how the cantering goes haha. the horse is certainly capable.... it might just depend a little on his mood lol

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  14. Schooling at a higher level than what you show is my motto!
    Good luck! I'm sure you'll both do awesome.

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    1. lol very true - but that's hard to do when you're schooling the lowest levels!!

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    2. Lol. Well, you're not doing trot poles, so...progress!

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  15. I thinnk slow and steady is the right path! Once something feels boring and easy, then a move up! Can't wait to hear how it all goes!

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  16. I've never been bothered with the cantering in a dressage test, as P has a great canter. But jumping is just another thing. I'm perfectly fine at the starter level (2'3") and I'm fine with the height of BN, but some of the looks of the jumps are what gets me. Because P will look. And we have a vicious cycle. We were mostly over that though, so when I start jumping him again I'm hoping it's a non-issue! Can't wait to here how Charles did this weekend!

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  17. Intro C sucks. Seriously. I've been working with my Morgan on jumping a little and we're looking at a CT next month. He has no issue with fences but is AWFUL about cantering in the ring. So when I looked up Intro C I think I wilted and died :-P

    Yayyy for Fair Hill!! ;) I know you guys will do great!

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