What a crazy weekend- it was jam packed with horsey activities!
Yeah Oats! Photo courtesy of Nicole.
I also felt a bit run off my feet (I’m still trying to get over my weird on-again-off-again malaise that just keeps hanging on, not actively sick enough but just not feeling great either. Sigh…).
I had the Dave Freeze clinic on Saturday night, and then the Foxstone horse show on Sunday. Seamless, right? Well, I’ll be doing a separate blog post about Dave Freeze, as I took lots of notes, but today we will focus on Foxstone. I was in a big rush Saturday, trying to ride Oats, clean my tack, pack up my stuff, fill grain bags and hay nets for the show, and not be late for the Dave Freeze clinic in the evening.
Everything got done but man…It was busy. And I was out late at the clinic, slept fairly well but intermittently before getting up at 7am for the show, and was back home that night at 7pm. EEK!~ Crazy eh?
It was…But it was also (to borrow from Dave’s Big Eight)- an opportunity to practice being calm, patient, focused, grounded, centered, positive, exert appropriate effort, and relaxed. Kind of a big deal for me.
My goal on this started way back, with my equine counselling–I wanted to sleep well the night before (I tried SO hard at this) and feel appropriately hungry the morning of- which I actually ate almost all of my breakfast w/o my stomach turning into knots! And then actually ‘feel’ my body as I was warming up, instead of this weird muscle weakness, numb out of body feeling (50% achieved on that…I did start wanting to drift, but managed to pull myself back together!).
The warm-up was ok- I got a bit distracted as one girl was having a tough time with her horse and fell off a few times…Oats was slow. Very quiet, suspiciously quiet. We bungled up a line a few times due to this sort of distraction, and then pulled ourselves together and went very quietly to the arena. There, I was almost thrown off my game when they said we didn’t have time to do any warm-up in the arena. WHAT?
I wanted to start worrying.
And then they said we could do our first jump as a warm-up if we wished, which was very gracious of them, and I decided, you know what? We were going to be fine without it. I was doing ok.
So, we set off on our rounds, and you know what? Wonder of wonders, they were fine, consistent, and boring. The jump height was ‘eh’ and the trouble spots I encountered were 100% because Oats was a bit backed off and slow off the leg, so we got a few ugly chips unfortunately. But, I did kind of feel like that was due to him perhaps being a bit ouchy, not like lame ouchy but a bit unsure on his feet due to having no front shoes…A bit sensitive maybe not as willing to be energetically ‘forward’?
Even though the jump height was not an issue for us, the forward yesterday was. Also, I noticed I was still gasping a bit after my rounds. So, I’m making the executive decision to keep myself and Oats at the boring height of 2′ divisions for this season. Keep it boring until I’m bored to tears and begging to move up???
And my other goal was to be 100% comfortable just ‘being’ on Oats. That was definitely achieved…We cruised around, hacked all the way around the stable yard, up and down the road, everywhere. Oats was so cool he was comatose?!! This did lend him well to being SO GOOD in my flat class–I have never had him so chill in a hack class, usually he is the psycho pony who is scaring people, racing other horses, bucking or rearing.
He was like an old hunter pony pro. And was generously rewarded with a first place! Go OATS!! I have to thank my trainer for sticking by me for all my long, panicky horse shows in the past, and maybe in the future–there is a reason Oats now has a better reputation.
One goal I’m still not there yet with is weirdly…Not super interested in watching and analyzing the videos my friend took (which was amazing of her to take them, so appreciative!!). This is one area I can improve on–I need to accept that this division is where I am right now. I am a 2′ division rider, this is my truth. I think that’s why I like having video, but am reluctant to take a deeper look at them. I almost think “this is me, jumping such low jumps?”
A brief monkey bar break…Photo courtesy of Sarah C.
But if I am honest with myself, yes that IS me, and yes, I actually rode well, had a very enjoyable, consistent show with Oats, and I should be happy to critique myself after.
Oh and I need to spray-paint my jointed stirrups- I got non-judged/DQ’d in the equitation over fences class because of my black stirrups. Curses!!! Well I also seriously bungled the trot fence so if there was a class to blow, and also get disqualified in, well…I’m not crying over it, hahah.