Saturday, March 31, 2018

give a dog a bone

Happy weekend everybody! This past week really just flew by for me, aided in large part by the fact that I took PTO from work on Thursday and Friday, plus Monday too. Five day weekend for the win!!

this sacrifice winter field barely has any grass yet but that hasn't stopped charlie from trying!
And it's been a fairly light week too, as we recover from our thrill ride at Loch Moy. I had so much fun and have so many feelings about our season opener this year, plus literally zillions more pictures (esp those candid in-between moments that Austen has such a good eye for) so I'll probably share more later.

forsythia is starting to bloom too!
For now tho, I kinda just want to cover where we've been and what we've been doing in terms of show recovery, knowing that the calendar will be heating up in very short order.

meanwhile spring uncovered all sorts of fun things for Riley too, like this "stick" she found
Mostly? We've been hacking. Lots and lots of hacking. Charlie got a day off after the show, but has been under saddle ever since.

Obviously the cross country round ended up being a bit harder of a run than was necessary or expected, and both of us were pretty sore afterward. So the name of the game has been lots of low intensity conditioning, intermixed with flat work aimed almost exclusively at stretching and suppling the horse.

so proud of herself and her new toy
Charlie doesn't truly have a "long and low" frame yet, or really a stretchy trot either. He's kinda sorta learning how to carry himself that way, but feels a little vulnerable and lacking in confidence in that frame. Which like, I totally get bc he's got a habit of being heavy up front lol.

mmmmm sticks....
But we're working on it, plus other stretches from the ground (like belly lifts and butt tucks), and a week later he's feeling more limber and soft again.

srsly tho, how pleased does this dog look haha
I've also been trying to keep the schools brief and to the point. Remembering what Boyd Martin told us about his horses's riding schedules, ideally the balance of our riding schedule would entail lengthier low intensity conditioning work, whether that's walk, trot, or canter, and shorter but more intense schooling sessions.

and a cat. bc cat pictures are the internet's currency
Meaning I want to be more disciplined in asking for good work, rather than settling for half efforts or mediocrity. So that we make the time count - quick bursts of intensity but not needing to drill anything. For us, this usually means a 20-30min dressage ride. Followed by another ~20min hacking through the fields.

plus sleepy shaggy sun bathing ponies
It's super easy to get that mileage in right now too bc none of the horses are turned out on the big summer pastures yet, so all the gates are open. The trick will be keeping the habit once we have to contend with gates again haha. Charlie's gotten so much better in that regard tho so I'm sure it'll be fine.

dressagin' in jump tack. sorta. haha
Anyway. I also promised to write more about our last lesson before the show but.... Well. Honestly there really isn't a whole heck of a lot to write about. We limited how many jumping reps Charlie did, since he's not super fit right now and I didn't want to run out of horse at Loch Moy (lol, that fear proved very unfounded!).

He was great tho. It's a fun simple video that I'm happy to have documented as part of the ever-growing log of Charlie's progression. Plus, I get a serious kick out of the fact that this course is nearly identical to what we saw the following day in our show jump round haha.

Trainer P must be a genius or something. Same elements jumped off the same leads and everything. Except the lines were shorter and the jumps were bigger in Trainer P's course.

i'm pleased with this picture <3
But back to our week of riding post-event, we did another very light jump school with Trainer K too. Brita, Rachael and I had originally planned a fun cross country outing this day to take advantage of my PTO and Brita's spring break. But rainy conditions meant the course wasn't open, sadness. Nbd tho, it worked out better bc I didn't really want an intense school anyway.

and then another light jump school to try out the hackamore!
Mostly we just worked briefly over some small jumps to give Charlie a chance to crack his back a little bit. And give *me* a chance to experiment with jumping in the hackamore!! Verdict?? I actually really liked it. It'll need more testing to see if it works when Charlie's adrenaline is really pumping, but I'm hopeful.

and ponies and puppies sharing treats!
The curb chain is a miracle worker, but also isn't so strong on Charlie that it's likely to back the big boy off. Plus, omg this bridle is so much easier to put on than his current jump bridle and its 8,000 straps lol. Basically the feeling I'm looking for is a lightness in the contact (but I *do* want contact) and a feeling like I can put my leg on. So we'll see.

plus a pic of charlie's freshly bathed tail in prep for the show. bc damn that's just a nice tail, buddy
So things are cruisin right along in Charlie land. We've been waiting so long for spring to arrive and the show season to begin, it's hard to believe we're finally here. It's all very exciting. I have my work cut out in balancing Charlie's fitness and workload to ensure everybody stays happy and healthy, but honestly tho? We feel ready. And eager. Haha. Maybe too eager.

I'm still learning what works best for Charlie in helping him feel his strongest and soundest. The show at Loch Moy was definitely one of the most intense workouts we've ever had together, but I think this week spent hacking out and stretching and whatnot has done his body good in recovery. And it's also kept me feeling like we're doing good schooling work too, so win win.

Do you have a typical routine for post-show workloads for your horse too? Does it kinda depend on how intense the show was? Do you subscribe to the idea that "motion is lotion" and keep the horse moving and working? Or does your horse do better with more down time?

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

2018 MDHT Opener: Cross Country!

Buckle up, guys! It's cross country time!! And definitely the kind of ride where a seat belt is strongly advised lol. Charlie was... Hm. Going, I think, would be the most appropriate term.

I knew from the end of our stadium round that Charlie was growing increasingly strong, but I didn't really realize just how true that would be.

The warm up area was small and on a slope, with all the fences pointed away from the trailers. I didn't really love the BN jump (a carved hanging log thing) so I opted for the N coop instead. We kinda ate it the first time, then slipped in the corner after.... which made me nervous about the ground out on course. But the second time was better so off we went to the start gate.

things started innocently enough
Charlie was antsy circling the start box, and we had a bit of a delay while the rider ahead of us had some difficulties. I could tell that Charlie's draw toward the trailers was maybe going to be an issue, although I saw it as a potential advantage in pulling him out of the start box and into a rhythm - vs the last time we ran xc when Charlie was nappy and sucking back out of the gate.

cantering toward the trailers like a very happy horse
Luckily this did indeed prove to be true, and Charlie finally was able to strike off into a canter out of the gate and reached this first jump - the "tootsie roll" - quite nicely.

That nice feeling would not last, however. Haha. Hahaha.

apologies for the shitty jump pics - early morning light was a little severe. this is just a plain brown pheasant feeder that charlie jumped last january
Basically right off the bat, Charlie was PULLING ME. I've spent a lot of time in lessons this winter working on getting comfortable riding Charlie in a more forward canter, and getting that feeling of pushing him up in front of my leg instead of riding backwards to fences.

aaaaaaaaand then we almost died haha
We've made a lot of progress, but all those good feelings went out the window when Charlie was essentially running away with me. I couldn't push him in front of my leg bc I had exactly ZERO success in shutting the front door to recycle that energy to Charlie's hind end.

In other words, he was running right through the bridle and I had nothing to push forward to. Plus he was flattening and dropping his shoulders, making it impossible to see a distance. He would lengthen and lengthen his stride to the base of the fence and rush right past his distance. At jump 2, he, tried to pat down a front leg then thought better of it, and then split his legs over the fence. I thought we might die. But somehow we got lucky.

the truck runs parallel to the trailer parking. this gave charlie FEELINGS
So. Uh. Ya know, that kinda set the tone for the ride lol. All my lovely ideas of a soft horse pushed up in front of me and taking leg to the base (as in our recent xc schooling!) flew past us in a blur, and we were galloping alongside the trailers with Charlie not entirely sure what in the fresh hell was going on.

must remember: the horse is still pretty new to this job. pc Steve Long
Luckily I took the hint and got more organized with my reins and position. And Charlie, for his part, was more civilized to this hanging log. Not the best distance in the world (it's kinda hard with the horse running behind the leg...) but sufficient for the task at hand.

the jump was placed almost identically the last time i jumped it with izzy - right into the woods. charlie agreed with izzy that this makes it spooky
We had a long-ish cruise to the above coop, and Charlie definitely gave it a hard look. It was finally jumping away from the trailers and he became less certain that this was where he wanted to go. He wiggled a bit to the left, but jumped it anyway.

It's funny tho, there's a bunch of sand or stone dust spread on the landing side to combat mud, and Charlie definitely wasn't expecting that haha. He took a GOOD LOOK craning his neck down while jumping lol.

charlie, looking gorgeous. me, looking like i'm trying like hell (and failing) to organize my reins.
The ground fortunately was not proving to be as slippery as I was afraid, tho you can totally see patches of snow all through the woods. It was interesting how they designed the course too bc I figured they'd avoid the woods altogether. But instead almost our entire course was out there - including on some newly cleared areas. It worked out quite well, and was nice for me to see a new part of the course!

jump too sma for charlie
Anyway, next up we weaved through some trees and between some higher level jumps to this little roll top that Charlie actually jumped quite well.

we saw this one in january too. it's a nicely substantial log pile. but still not big enough, apparently
Then a quick canter to the log oxer. While walking the course I had half a mind to add in the N log jump seen in the background here, but considering we ate shit and nearly died over this oxer.... I nixed that idea. Lol...

wherein charlie tries to kill us for the second time. he's got #norespect
Again, our recipe for disaster at this fence was a too-fast horse that I wasn't successfully able to slow down, so I resorted to riding backwards without leg. Ooh we had a left drift too. Ya know. Real good riding and stuff haha.

For his part, tho, Charlie wasn't slowed down at all by these crappy jumps. They didn't scare him or worry him or bust his confidence. Tho I think they could - as he really didn't feel as confident as I would have liked, and seemed to be a little too intrigued by the idea of exiting stage left.

down a small gravel hill to another little roll top....
Considering we were nearly dying over 1 of every 3 jumping efforts by this point, I opted to bring Charlie back to trot for this little downhill path section. Honestly mostly just to see if I could. And... it took a little effort lol.

He then trotted right on up to the roll top, spooked at the footing spread around the take off and landing sides, almost kinda sorta ran out, but jumped reasonably well enough anyway.

then a nicely pleasant uphill approach to Mr Course Creep, the skinny rolltop wedge
I'd probably never forgive myself if I let Charlie have a stupid run out for lack of steering, so since the next jump was an actual skinny fence, I got my shit together and rode that goddamn horse. And he jumped this wedge dead center and quite nicely. Gooooo figure haha, things go better when I actually ride the horse!

turning back around at the top of a hill, a simple nicely sized roll top
We cantered up the hill and around a u-turn to come back to this jump. The approach suited us well bc the turn gave me more brakes, and Charlie was too busy trying to lock on to all the other jumps to rush at this fence. We still fumbled the distance a little bit, but it felt marginally more settled. Maybe?

charlie's jumped the intro version of this jump
There were a couple really nasty sections of ground in this area that I had made note of during our walk, but that seemed like they would be easily avoided. In focusing on this and working on choosing my line with care, we ended up with a more balanced and measured approach to the fence, which Charlie tackled handily.

finally, a reasonable picture where death doesn't appear imminent haha
So if you're noticing a theme here, it's that "When Emma is able to put her leg on the horse, everything is better." Ground breaking thoughts here, guys. Haha.

coop going downhill back to the trailers. i predicted this to be.... challenging lol. 
Tho our problems on the landing side continued, as Charlie was most definitely not landing in the same canter he jumped from haha. And he basically landed running from the gate, got wind of the fact that we were headed back to the trailers, dragged me over the coop, then bolted straight down the hill. Nevermind that our track was supposed to turn left.

It quickly became apparent that we were headed directly towards a bank complex at the bottom of a hill - which was exactly the opposite of where I wanted to be haha - so I managed to get Charlie back to a trot and turn him back onto our path without skidding out in the mud. Phew! Tho there may have been some profanity involved.... lol

another small fence but i appreciated that it was going up hill
We started trotting back up the hill to this little guy which I was kinda worried would be too small for Charlie's attention. But Charlie actually did pretty well - picked his canter back up on approach and jumped it politely.

water looked fantastic (aside from the icy rim) - the water itself was not flagged with a simple roll top on the other side (middle element)
Then I brought him immediately back to walk at the water for a quick pause. Primarily bc I wanted to school the water first before riding the line as intended. But also because I was hoping to reset a little bit. Charlie wandered around the water for a second looking unsure about taking a sip. I knew he would want to tho so I waited him out and he finally stopped long enough to take a drink.

charlie handled this very well, after a brief pause to school the water (and take a drink lol)
It's unconventional, I know, but it seems to work for Charlie. I had hoped the drink would chill him out a little bit too, and also admittedly kinda wanted to demonstrate to the jump judges and officials that I *could* in fact stop the horse, in case they were getting nervous about our lack of control and risky jumps.

Which like.... You know that if you're thinking about proving to the jump judges that you're not as dangerous as you look.... You know if that's going through your mind, things probably aren't going super well.

yay another nice picture!!! legit one of my goals for the day was to end up with a high-quality picture of us over fences that i didn't 100% totally hate haha
C'est la vie, tho. I was already pretty exhausted by this point and literally could not believe we still had a whole 'nother section to the course, but onward we went. Charlie actually handled the water to roll top really really really nicely. THIS is the horse I know he can be on cross country.

he's a good boy tho, even if sometimes i can't control him <3
And we will get there. It's not unreasonable that we'd be a little rough around the edges this early in the season, but I was happy that Charlie really truly felt more educated on the whole, even as he made quite a few bad mistakes.

i was so convinced that bn wouldn't share anything with n for the sake of saving ground that i didn't even realize the ditch was an option here. so i jumped the table
Anyway tho, we made one last turn away from the trailers toward the table, and Charlie eased into a more settled canter. Our distance to the table was a little deep, but it was a very nice effort. Even strides all the way to the base. Much better, Charlie!

this boat was the only thing we missed in january that i had wanted to try
That flew right out the window again tho when we turned back toward the trailers and the finish line. Sigh. It's a work in progress, I guess.

lol. well. i guess we finally got our shot at it! we are grace. we are beauty. we are somehow still not dead yet.
pc Austen Gage
Because yea we jumped this boat verrrry baddddly and I briefly wondered if I would fall off...

lol let's see that from a different angle.... his face tho, omg. pc Steve Long
I did not fall off, however, and resolved in that instance that, dammit, we were gonna finish this course in once piece and NOT die trying.

at least he landed straight and in balance while i got my shit together?? lol.... pc Austen Gage
Because, ya know, we really do know better. I really can actually sorta kinda ride this horse if I try hard enough. Usually.

charlie: galloping like it's a 3*
emma: "but sir! it's only BN!! for fucks sake, we're circling dammit!"
Considering our close proximity to the final jump and Charlie's extremely strung out gallop, I opted to circle lol. And it proved to be just the ticket - breaking up Charlie's ability to brace against the bridle.

last fence, fucking finally
He came back to a civilized canter and handily completed the circle without mowing down Austen and Lyra (who you can see silently contemplating their mortality in the helmet cam video haha), and then approached the final jump reasonably well.

this picture pretty much looks exactly how it felt
Then one final little run away through the finish flags wherein I circled again to get him stopped, and we were done! I hopped off basically immediately lest he continue trying to take off into the sunset, and he dropped alllll the way down the excitement levels to his normal quiet self. Looking honestly quite pleased with himself for his exertions haha.

dis how you pet the horse while not really wanting to let go of the reins yet either haha
I, on the other hand, was exhausted. Omg. Literally could not breathe. My arms felt stretched out beyond limit. My lungs were burning. My back was tingling. And I was just so so drained. But happy. Honest to god happy.

This ride wasn't what you would call classically "Fun." Because.... wow it was a lot of work and some of those jumps were seriously fucking uncomfortable and could have easily become actual accidents. But there were also a lot of really good and reaffirming moments too.

And the video is pretty fun to watch, IMO, even tho I kinda get sore all over again just seeing it haha. So I hope you enjoy it.

Positive takeaways include the fact that this level is easy for us. I felt great about the course, and while Charlie had some issues with confidence, they were more about the overall experience vs any individual jump. And Charlie did in fact grow in confidence throughout the course, which is the whole point anyway.

and yup, i'm definitely still obsessed with this big sweet bay <3. pc Austen Gage
We're not ready to face bigger fences yet, tho. At least not until we can get through a course without 20% of our jumps terrifying nearby spectators. Bc.... yea. And I need to find a solution to our brakes problem. Charlie's face is crisscrossed with 8 thousand straps holding that big leverage bit in place. But he just runs right through it with zero regard. So I'll be experimenting with that soon too.

he's a good egg. even if i'm somewhat shocked that we lived to tell the tale. lol. pc Austen Gage
All of that is still ahead of us tho. It's all for a later date. For this particular day, I was satisfied to have gotten out and done the thing, imperfections and all. It felt good to remind myself that I can do it, and that Charlie can do it. And that, actually, I have the ability to handle the going when it gets tough - even if sometimes I need a kick in the pants to remember to do so.

we did it tho! <3 pc Austen Gage
So. The first event of the year is in the books. Complete with quite a few takeaways and lessons learned. Hopefully. And I look forward to our next outing, confident that we have the skills to do this, and resolute in putting those skills to work.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

2018 MDHT Opener: Stadium + Dressage

Alright everybody. You said you wanted details and I aim to please, so here's the play by play of our dressage and stadium rounds at Loch Moy this past weekend.

I ended up in the first senior BN split and as such was slated to ride my dressage test around 8:45. At which point it was COLD. And windy. And uh, yea the footing was completely frozen throughout the warm up and courts. Which was pretty unfortunate, if you ask me. Cold hard frozen ground is not typically ideal for producing a soft and supple picture.

a enter periscope up!
It also meant that I opted to ride in my down vest and shell jacket instead of changing into my typical show coat. Bc comfort > style, even if pictures are forever.

We arrived in the warm up area later than I had intended bc really I just need to admit to myself that it's unrealistic to expect to be finishing tacking up and whatnot within 15 minutes of arriving on site. As it was, tho, it ended up not really being a big deal for my warm up.

trotting a circle to the left. note: snowy ground and frozen footing and distinct lack of hoof prints
Charlie was quiet and attentive. Definitely looking around at everything but didn't feel ruffled or unsettled. We walked pretty extensively in the warm up, as is our habit, then I started in with some trot work. Circles and halt transitions. A couple canter transitions later and I figured that the trade off of pushing for more softness and roundness wasn't really worth schooling longer on the hard ground. So we let the steward know we were ready.

This was possibly not the right choice, but I made it knowing it basically guaranteed a mediocre test. Like, yes, it's great that Charlie can be the same horse in the show ring as he is at home. HOWEVER. None of that matters if I'm not the same rider in the show ring too. Meaning: I've got to still be accountable for producing a nice ride in the horse. He's not going to do it himself.

cantering left too! eventually!
Charlie can achieve a consistent and obedient test to score a solid straight 6s mostly on his own. But if I want to earn better scores, I have to ride him for better. Ask him for more.

And not fall into the trap of complacency that comes with thinking "well, he's being so good and being so quiet, this is good enough!"

then we trotted right. it's noteworthy that this circle score is also combined with the trot transition score
As it was, tho, we put in a very mediocre test. I should have tried harder, but I was also pretty aware of that even in real time. Charlie, for his part, was a very good boy.

Tho as I rounded our first trot circle and began thinking about our imminent left lead departure, it occurred to me that we mayyybe ought to have schooled like, one or two more left lead departs in warm up haha. And was thus unsurprised when we immediately picked up the wrong lead. Whoops. He recovered well tho and basically moved on with life.

cantered right too, with nary a comment of "labored" haha
This BN-A test works out pretty well for Charlie bc even tho some of the transitions are located in places I don't love, and even tho there's no trot diagonal (a movement I quite like), everything is spaced relatively well for the horse.

I like that the medium walk is broken out as its own score - and honestly my only real disappointment in the test is that I *did* try for that movement, and we *had* been schooling it in the past week, but it still went a bit poorly for us. That should be a movement that Charlie does well in, and that I would like to see a nice score in, but it didn't happen for us this time.

the best part: when we're finished haha
I also didn't quite realize that the walk-trot transition is combined with the score for the second trot circle - that's actually kinda tricky in my opinion, and can potentially be a disadvantage to us if we can't stay round in a transition. So I'll want to work harder on that in our schooling.

Mostly tho, the test went about how I expected. I should have shortened my reins. Should have sat up more. Should have asked Charlie for more. All the pieces were there - he had a nice soft forward and balanced trot. Was listening well and being obedient. Needed better balance in our turns and corners tho. And basically just more rider support all over.

this face. i'm obsessed <3
Pretty much everything scored a 6 except for the wrong lead canter depart, the medium walk, and the final halt where I never got him straight onto center line. Only 6.5s were our right lead canter depart and the gaits score. Honestly it shouldn't be too hard to improve all of those scores by 0.5-1.5 pts just by getting the horse more round. Next time I'll be more disciplined!

then it's onto our favorite part, the jomping!! the horse and rider immediately before us collapsed into this fence (luckily both were fine!) which naturally didn't leave me feeling warm and fuzzy. charlie didn't care tho!
For this outing tho, I was simply happy to have Done the Thing. And was ready to go forth into the jomping phases!! We had about two hours between dressage and jumping to get the horse situated and walk my xc and stadium courses.

The venue had worked really hard to prepare the ground after recent heavy snowfall, but there were still some pretty dicey spots on cross country. Even with lots of work on adding sand and stone dust and other filler materials to improve the going. In contrast, however, the stadium arena was actually in pretty great shape. It helped that they were dragging it again and again as the morning warmed up before the first rides were slated to go.

casual over the little yellow vertical
I'm honestly a bit rusty at walking courses too, and felt pretty ambivalent about the distances I had walked. A six stride bending line, a six stride diagonal line, and a two stride in and out. I figured the two stride would require commitment, but the others I planned to gauge by watching other riders.

cute expression over the maryland jump. pc Steve Long
It was kinda funny tho - this course was almost identical to what we schooled in our lesson with trainer P the day before: a left hand bending line in five, a diagonal in five, and a 33' two stride. Only difference was that MDHT's two stride was closer to 36', and had another related bending distance going into the two stride that I didn't bother to walk bc it had so much shape to it.

charlie looks like he enjoys this job <3
Charlie warmed up pretty well. Not the greatest in his flat work, but felt focused and ready. We trotted the cross rail, cantered the vertical, cantered the oxer, and then went to wait our turn at the gate.

cruising out of the two stride!
I admit to being a little nervous too. Not like, scared or sick feeling. But anxious. The jumps all looked pretty small and everything looked really doable. But I just feel like stadium is a very unforgiving phase haha, and I'm so so so so so prone to little silly mistakes. Plus it didn't help that I hadn't seen really any very consistent rides before mine (had only gotten to watch a few).

Horses who looked like they had a nice pace through the lines doing them in six would then chop in a third in the two stride. But horses who did five in the lines couldn't make the other turns and a few had run outs in the two stride. The inside turn to jump 2 looked inviting enough, but most weren't taking that option, and those who did got bad jumps. And there were iffy distances and stops all over the place, and even a fall at the first fence with the rider right before me. So. Ya know. I had a few feelings about entering the ring.

charlie's tail is like the wind socks they use on helipads. it's a good indicator of his speed lol. for instance, compare his tail in the above pic to the earlier shot of him cantering in our dressage test..... 
However, the show must go on, right? So we entered once the horse and rider before me were determined to be ok, and trotted on around waiting for the judge's whistle. Then it was go time!

Right from the start, Charlie felt like he was on a good forward stride moving up to the fences. He executed the inside turn to jump 2 seamlessly, and put six evenly spaced strides in the bending line. The diagonal was a bit more snug fitting in the 6th, but not choppy.

wherein i finally start to crack a smile over the last fence
He did a timely and well balanced auto change to the end jump, landed on the correct lead (unusual for him to land left! esp after a bigger effort!) then rode in a very forward bending five strides to the in and out, which he also handled well. Tho you can totally tell that he's starting to get a little fast and flat haha.

gettin things done, charlie style!
Another auto change and then I had a little bit of time to sit him down to rebalance before cantering easily over the final jump. Good boy!! Tho haha as soon as we landed, Charlie basically bolted off into a mini victory gallop lol. That, uh, should have been a harbinger for what was to come on cross country.....

if three pictures of the same jump is overkill, i don't want to be underkilled. we saved that for xc anyway. pc Steve Long
As it was, tho, we were clear and Charlie felt great. And I was immensely relieved to have that phase behind me, bc yea. Stadium has not always been a very kind phase to me lol. Somehow, tho, Charlie makes it feel pretty easy.

keep watching to the end where charlie pretends he's in his own little victory gallop haha

It was especially reaffirming to lay down a respectable round after seeing the course wreak some havoc already with other riders. But I was perhaps a little naive to think we'd put the hardest phase behind us.

The cross country course walked great and everything looked pretty hunky dory, so I figured it would all go pretty easily for us. And.... I guess it *was* easy for Charlie. But, not quite so much for me lol. All the details on that will come tomorrow, complete with more pics and video.

such a good boy tho <3. pc Steve Long
In the meantime, I was quite pleased with how things were going after this stadium round. And am really hopeful that these smooth consistent and drama-free stadium rounds will continue to be the rule with Charlie, vs the exception. Now if only I could be more consistent as a rider in the dressage phase, maybe we'd get somewhere! Anyway, tune in tomorrow to see how the story ends ;)