Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Epic Dressage Show

Saturday June 23rd I packed up my trailer and went to my first dressage show in three years. And who did I have the pleasure of riding? Miss Evita of course!

 All PC: Jannae

I was so exceptionally nervous for this show. I had heard she gets very "up" at shows and I felt I had something to prove and needed over a 65%. I also knew I wanted to set us up for success at our first show together and opted to show training 2 & 3.

This pic and pic below are PC: SB

I tried on my show clothes a few days prior (I'm great at procrastinating) and realized my coat and shirt didn't fit super well so I bought a new coat and shirt (review to follow!). My ride times weren't scheduled for the afternoon so I had a leisure morning acquiring braiding supplies and liquid courage (see: procrastination). I pulled Evita out of pasture late morning and began to bathe and braid.

This is where my anxiety kicked it. E started yelling for Mae after being separated. I thought for sure this was the sneak preview of how the show was going to go. I also kicked myself for not thinning her mane earlier and broke out in tears over how fugly it looked. 

I hastily finished my shitty braid job, realized I was running late, and threw together a sandwich to take on the road. E loaded up ok but clearly was on edge. I checked my hitch job and hit the road for my long 15 min trek. 

We arrived and despite parking arrangements not being idiot proof, I took a deep breath and went to check in. I saw some friends and literally asked them to babysit me because I've never shown by myself and my coach had other clients so would just see me in the warmup. I was advised to breathe and handwalk E around to let her look at the surroundings. I unloaded E and she took a look around, yawned, and lowered her head.

The more I walked with E, the more she yawned and chewed. Apparently she knew right where she was and was completely relaxed to go dance around. I was still worried that when I got on she would be different so I remained reserved. I tacked up a little behind schedule and headed over to warmup nervous. I got on and immediately told E we were here to do the thing. I'm pretty sure if I could have seen her face she would have been rolling her eyes at me. Shortly after a quick walk around I saw Jannae and my parents there to cheer me on. 

My coach gave me a quick warmup and off I went to enter at A. The test itself was easy and although I noticed E gained a small amount of tension as we entered, it was pretty solid. Mare had my back! After  our final salute I was so happy. I just couldn't help but think that omg we did the thing and E is easy and fun at shows! 

I hopped off because I had an hour until my next test and chilled happily with my friends. Next thing I know the score runner tells me congratulations and unsure, I said "thanks?!" before looking up at my placing. First! First? No wait, not just first but 80% first? What?! What!!! "You're the highest score of the day!" Again, what?! I proceeded to freak out (as E napped, naturally) in excitement. I couldn't believe we scored that high, it was unreal. I knew for my next test I didn't want to warmup very long and my goal was to just have fun.

The beginning of the test went great but I noticed I was lacking energy and on my last canter circle and thought my downward transition was two letters before it actually was. My thought process went: "hold on E, our downward is just right there! Hm, we've been trotting for awhile. Oh..look..C...that's where my transition went" so we had a minor mistake, oh well. I finished up my long and low and was just happy to have laid down another pretty solid test. This test wasn't scored as favorably (lol I mean compared to the 80) but we got a well deserved 71%. I hopped off super pony, went to acquire treats (because I'm the worst and forgot some) and cracked open my wine while waiting to see who got high point. T'was me! Hell yes! I thanked the pony numerously for being the best teacher/babysitter ever and packed up to go get her home. Best. Show. Ever.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Green Bean Thoughts

So fancy in his inherited PSOS bridle

Being given the opportunity to ride such a well trained horse as Evita certainly has been a blessing. But, it makes riding and wanting to ride the green horses a lot less motivating. I can get on Evita and pretty much put her exactly how I want her and do whatever suits my fancy. And I started to run into trouble with my greenie. 

Greenie's first side rein

Merlot has an incredible work ethic and despite his spookiness, is a pretty chill dude under saddle but after prioritizing my rides on Evita I found I would get frustrated and pushy with Merlot. And it isn't fair. He toodles like a pro, but if I try and put on trainer pants, I started to expect he had an education when he didn't. Even though Ries was not a dressage pro, he had a foundation put on him and once trainer taught me to unlock and develop it, we were golden. But greenie he was not.

Mer and V Have a huge bromance. Also photo bomb by Mae and E (E is in fly mask)

So here I am sitting with a lovely pony who will work sun up to sun down and give you snuggles when the day is done. But I really don't know how to get that first step of the dressage foundation put on him. So we toodled and moved at a snails pace. I tried to do "hey look, if I weight this seat bone and put on this leg you move over" and "I know contact feels weird but I'm just going to have soft forgiving hands" and yet I felt my tool bag kind of empty. 

So many smiles <3

I had my first dressage lesson on Merlot two weeks ago and that helped so much. It was enough of a push but also a "we are only focusing on one thing this entire lesson" that I finally feel I have a start in the dressage direction. I knew I looked like a sack of potatoes riding a llama but I couldn't help but smile. I didn't just buy a green horse because I think he will be fancy and he has a forgiving attitude (and I have a limited budget), but for how much I wanted to experience the process of bringing a green horse up and how much joy it gives me.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

An Intro: The past month

So my little hiatus lasted a little longer than planned. But that's ok, I'm here now and want to start back with a small intro to the next few posts.

1) I got engaged! Holy crap was this a total 360 in my life. Luke proposed at his birthday party (end of April) I hosted for him after blowing out the candle (I actually forgot candles for his cake and had him blow out a giant yankee candle lol). It was so lovely to have our friends and family there. I am so so thrilled. No, there is no date yet, my focus is my last semester of college!

Baby Z's third ride!

2) Ponies are doing swell. Baby Z has been rocking baby boot camp and I've even ridden him twice now! He comes home in about two weeks. Mae has been a little brat and I haven't gotten to ride her yet, she needs to graduate from my stop-being-a-brat-about-work groundwork bootcamp. Vermont has been a super steady guy and very easy for rides. Merlot definitely is showing his green side but so so willing (and gorgeous to look at omg). And finally, Evita has been my rock and so much fun.

3) I finished my second to last semester of college with a fantastic GPA. My work continues to be nice and they even gave me an internship for summer to get some credits knocked out. I'm looking forward to my future outside of college.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Friday the 13th

The past two weeks have been super quiet on the blog front. Im getting a temporary moment of air, but as finals come up, Im drowning again.

My grandmother went into the hospital on 4/3 and last Friday my family and I watched her take her final breaths.

I've got a lot more going on, but that tipped the boat. I'm not currently ok, but know sunny skies lie ahead. I'll be having a brief absence and will see you all again in May. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

March Review, April Goals

Totally forgot to track my habits of water ect halfway through the month

March Goals 

Fitness- Consistently work out 3 days a week. Go to yoga. Never made it to yoga. Also didn't work out at all during spring break, was too busy!

Horses- Pray that my arena gets finished (or even started at this point). Send Z off to pony boot camp. Get horses started back for the year and then kick butt. Yass arena finished! I even lunged horses on it for the first time last week! Z left on Friday to be started and I'm so excited. Everyone except for Mae got started this month! 

Financial- STOP BUYING STUFF. Start saving again. I failed so hard at this during the first two weeks, but I've been great over the last two! Nothing added to savings yet.

Mental-Balance my plate better. Even though I want to be a straight A student, just focus on graduating and spend more time with ponies or doing things just for me. I also downloaded an app to help me remember my daily things like vitamins, now to really see how well I keep track! Totally failed at using the app but hoping to get better. Stopped focusing on school as much (I already have A's) and now going to bust ass to get all the ponies worked. 

April Goals


Fitness- Keep aiming for 3 days a week at gym, 1x a week at PT, and 1x a week yoga. 

Horses- Oversee that Z has a successful startup.  Ride E 4x a week. Bring a pony to a schooling show. 

Financial- Really truly stop buying stuff. Commit to savings. 

Mental- Finish the semester strong. Maintain a clean house.
Organize this monstrosity of a tack room (and sell anything I don't need)