A Record-Breaking Day: BCHP Schooling HT
|Nailing this dressage thing|
I earned my first dressage score of 35 or under. We sailed to second place with a personal best score of 33 after dressage, with a solid test that included three - count 'em, three - 8's. It was the first time I braided for dressage, and the first time I took home one of the horse park's Dressage Award ribbons for my score. The day started out pretty wonderfully.
It was also the first time I had refusals in stadium.
The first time I did not complete a stadium course.
And the first time I only jumped one fence of the cross-country course.
I'm not feeling too great about myself as a rider right now.
After walking the stadium course, I was actually feeling pretty good about it. The turns I thought would be tricky really had a lot more room than it appeared from the in-gate, the fences didn't look big, and I was feeling pretty confident about the whole thing.
Until I watched the Novice riders go around the same track, and saw stop after stop after fall after stop. No fewer than three riders fell off, and there were so many refusals I couldn't even count them. I think there were maybe two clear rounds, tops.
My confidence started waning.
But Dino warmed up well, and a friend who rode the BN course right before me had a great, positive clear round. I went in feeling ok about it, until Dino spooked at some flower boxes on the side of the ring on our way to Fence 1, which apparently was also Very Scary, and he slammed on the brakes in front of the very first jump. I turned him around, got him over, and then jumped fences 2-4 without a hitch. Coming around the corner to Fence 5 I didn't see a distance, and instead of putting my leg on, I waffled about it and made my pony stop again. I circled, and on our second approach to Fence 5 I was so anxious and scared that I practically pulled him up in front of the jump. With three refusals, we were done. I left the ring.
|Somehow, I actually look like I know what I'm doing... attempt #2 over Fence 1|
Feeling rushed AND nervous AND kind of terrified is not a good combination.
Dino came out of the start box like a rocket, I pointed him to the log that was Fence 1, and he asked if we were jumping. I told him I didn't know, and pretty much turned him away from it. Twice. On the third try I jumped the log, and then turned around and left the course.
|Again, don't be fooled by the appearance of competence here.|
I just want to be legitimately good at this.
Maybe it's time to take up knitting instead.
|My pony hides his head in embarrassment.|