Ready?

Ready as we'll ever be at this point!

dressaging away into the sunset
Thursday night was my last 'real' ride before the show - I plan on doing low-key trail rides, or not riding at all, from now until Sunday to keep Dino's mind and body fresh and ready to go. I wanted to run through my dressage test at least once, and pop over a couple fences to make sure I was capable of actually riding.

Cantering AND Roundness!
Dino was a little tough to get warmed up; it definitely took some tenacity and LOTS of transitions to get him really grooving, but once we broke through the stickiness barrier, he was pretty much right there with me. Not super-exceptional, but definitely just fine for a BN test.

I'm just a regular DQ
We ran through our test once, and while it was not horrendous, the canter departs were LATE LATE LATE!! I didn't prepare enough for them, and Dino wasn't super focused, and they were just gross. I also sat too heavy in our halt transition and made him hollow his back and fling his head up. Sorry, dude! Additionally, my reins are always a mile too long. Always. But I went back and did a do-over on the canter departs, and we got this super little bit of work:


VERY pleased with his forwardness and bend here, and I love the balanced downward transition back to trot and the way we were able to maintain our momentum. Not thrilled with the weird wiggle I did in the canter depart (what am I doing!?) or my rein length (rainbow reins, here we come) but overall QUITE happy with my position too!

So nice! The Hunter Princess has left the building... 
Consequently, my warm-up plan for dressage on Sunday is to ride in a field or in the XC warm-up area instead of the schooling ring to keep my pony happy, and then do some canter as we go around the outside of the ring before trotting down centerline to have him thinking forward and thinking about the canter departs. If I can get the forward reliably, I want to try and leave him alone a bit and get him looking more relaxed - the judges always ding us for tension!

He's too awesome.
After I fixed the parts of my test that needed fixing, I rode back up to the top of the field to pop over a couple jumps. I'm pleased to say that I was participating in the ride that evening, and was able to correct our pace (i.e. create more impulsion) to achieve a better distance. We ended up jumping a 2'6" oxer a few times yesterday, and the red line we did earlier in the week ended up at around 2'9", so height will be no issue!

And then Dino spooked at a folding chair and I fell off into an oxer that I wasn't even trying to jump.

Thanks, buddy.

I got back on, and then pony was cranky because he thinks that when I get off, no matter in what manner it occurs, he is done working. So he bucked once or twice and made faces and then he got over himself and jumped two more jumps and we called it a night.

My game plan for dressage is pretty solid, I think. I have a good idea of the feel I want from Dino before we go in the ring, and of the pieces of the test that are going to be trouble spots. I need to keep our circles round from beginning to end and not let them get flat in the second half. The canter departs have the biggest potential for going wrong, so I really want to make sure I half-halt strongly and prepare for them!

As far as stadium goes, I don't feel super confident about it, just because we haven't done much jumping recently. I just want to try and get a good canter right from the get-go, and let that be my focus instead of worrying about the jumps. Thankfully this is not an equitation round.

Cross country will be a breeze. Dino was foot-perfect in schooling the other weekend, it's his favorite phase, and I am honestly not worried at ALL about it. It's going to be a blast!

Never thought I'd say that about cross country, huh?!


Comments

  1. i love everything about this post - except when Dino spooked you off, what a goober! sounds like an awesome game plan, and Dino looks 100% ready in the pics/video. my fingers will be seriously crossed for you two!!!

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  2. Good luck tomorrow! You guys are going to do great!

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  3. Thanks girls! I'm excited. :)

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  4. I'm working on the EXACT SAME THINGS with canter departs. I need shorter reins and to PREPARE.

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