Ready To Rumble
|Just staring into your soul, NBD.|
Dino was awesome for our rides on Thursday and Friday, and I am feeling totally ready to dominate on Sunday.
While Thursday's ride wasn't absolutely foot-perfect, I was pretty thrilled with it nonetheless. I went ahead with my original plan to do a thorough jump school, even though I was having one of those days where you get on your horse and your whole body is just kind of tired and weak. Two point on the flat was a little rough. But, one must soldier on in pursuit of progress.
Dino warmed up really well, owing in part to the fact that he peed before our ride, which always makes him happier and more comfortable in his work. He was stretching into my hand nicely, and I was able to open up his canter by just breathing out and thinking more forward, instead of needing to get Mr. Sticky involved.
I had set my course to 2'6", and just sort of cantered around and jumped things. I was really trying to get more comfortable with a more normal distance instead of my security-blanket deep spot, and I have to say I'm definitely starting to get used to it! My pony also totally saved my ass at one point, and it was amazing. I didn't see a distance coming into the 2-stride, and instead of just rolling along and letting D handle it, I picked and pulled him down to a nothing distance and he jumped it from a near-standstill, basically from underneath the fence. I made the executive decision NOT to jump out of the combination at that point, but I was so happy with how Dino was able to cover for me. A year ago that kind of ride would have gotten me launched into the jump. And then, to top it off, when I came at the combination again (this time with an appropriate canter) Dino jumped in and out absolutely perfectly, no hesitation, no questions. Again, last year botching the 2-stride the first time around would have gotten me another stop. It's empowering to know that you can make a mistake and it won't cause you to fly through the air and hit solid wooden poles with your body.
Yesterday, the pony was wild! It was Day Four of everyone being stall-bound due to the heavy rains and subsequent really muddy pastures, and His Highness was Not Pleased with the situation. I got on and he marched right off into his Super Walk; lovely and round and powering forward! My plan for Friday's ride was to warm up, jump a couple 2'9" fences so everything at the show would look microscopic, and then do some slightly more intense flatwork. Dino just wanted to move yesterday; he was feeling quite sassy. I got a bit of a hop and a tail-swish the few times I had to use my spur to remind him to move his ribcage over. But the good thing about his excessive energy was that I had so much to work with. It was so easy to get Dino round and soft in the bridle, and to move him back and forth from a stretch to a working frame. After a quick warm up, I hopped him over a little tiny fence a few times, and then pointed him at one of the 2'9" jumps I had set up.
Of course, my over-reactive brain was all, "HOLY SHITAKE MUSHROOMS THAT'S A BIG JUMP" so I planted myself firmly in the back of my saddle on the approach, and of course Dino jumped it like it was No Thing. Because it wasn't. 2'9" is not gigantic. After I jumped the first one, I started to ride like a more normal human being and the rest of the fences were much less Eventer-Riding-A-Down-Bank, and more George-Morris-Approved.
After I had satisfied my need to jump something a little bigger than usual, we got down to the flatwork. Dino had his SuperPony cape on. He was fabulous! So soft, forward, attentive, and adjustable. I just did some changes of bend, a few trot/halt transitions, some rein-back, and worked on maintaining a good dressage canter. I was able to restrain myself from riding too long since he was being so awesome, I didn't want to drill him.
Dino had today off to chill in turnout (yay turnout!) and I'm confident that he will be feeling great mentally and physically for the show tomorrow. He's all clipped, and I'll be giving him a bath and tail treatment this evening.
To top off the last couple of days, last night Jess, Rachel, and I had a Harry-Potter-Watching Mango-Margarita-Drinking Tack-Cleaning Party, so all my stuff is clean and ready to go!
|This is how we roll. Crazy straws not optional.|
In any case, I feel ready for the show, and excited to go! My mind is full of positive thoughts, and I really think we'll do great tomorrow. Here's to the start of a great season!