|Happy horses, happy me.|
You know what's hard? Scheduling your weekends when ALL THE FUN THINGS are happening at the same time.
Originally, I had planned to do one of two horse trials in July: the 12th at BCHP or the 19th at Burgundy Hollow. The 12th ended up not happening since I decided that showing the day after getting home super late from a concert, and having the extra responsibility of farm-sitting, was not the best recipe for a successful outing.
So my sights shifted to Burgundy Hollow the week after, and then I discovered that my brother's band, The Karma Killers, would be touring nearby in New Jersey that same day. It's their first national tour (they're playing as a part of Warped Tour) and I really, really want to see them play.
But I also really, really want to compete at Burgundy Hollow, and the 19th would be my last chance for a horse trial in July. Cue conundrum!
For a while I entertained the idea of doing both, since the band has been playing in the evenings somewhere between 5 and 7. If I could get all three phases done by noon, I could easily do both. Unfortunately after emailing the organizer, I learned that BN stadium and cross country likely wouldn't happen until at least 1pm.
After going back and forth on the issue for a while, and telling just about everyone I know about my problem, I decided to see the band play instead of competing. While there will always be another horse trial, my brother won't always be on his very first national tour! I can also make the most out of the rest of July by going XC schooling and doing a couple schooling dressage and jumper shows, and be ready for our next HT in August.
In other news, my fellow boarder helped Dino and I do some jumping on Saturday morning, and it was one of the most exhausting rides ever. For whatever reason, my pony gets a serious case of 'tude in our jump field. I don't know whether it's the fact that he feels like he's in a ring, or that I unconsciously ride him differently there, but he has been putting on his cranky pants every. time.
I had a hell of a time just getting him to go FORWARD, and he was doing his snarky suck-back-and-buck whenever I'd get after him. I had to explain to my friend about all of his issues and why just beating the snot out of him doesn't work, and I feel like I spent more time kicking than actually doing anything productive.
EVENTUALLY Dino consented to move into a dinky little canter, and we started jumping the two side fences of our grid in a figure-8 to get him interested and focused on jumping. Lovely Barn Buddy of mine set the oxer in the grid to be square so we could jump it both ways, and put the last fence of the 4-stride line up to a giant X with the ends of the rails near the tops of the standards. She then showed me how to jump through the whole thing a few different ways, coming straight through, bending around to the side fences, going backwards through the one-stride, and lastly jumping one of the side fences, bending 3 strides, and then going through the one-stride 'backwards'.
It was a tough, tough ride on a pony who didn't want to GO, but once we started really getting into the more technical jumping he did brighten up a bit, and we completed some tricky jumps through the grid. I think I need to re-evaluate HOW I ride in the jump field, since I tend to skip a thorough, thoughtful warm-up in favor of just trying to walk, trot, canter around a couple times and then start jumping. I want to try and give Dino some better experiences in that area so that we can be more productive and less bratty during our jump schools!