Game Plan

My plan? Jump everything like this.
It's no secret that I'm a big fan of having a solid game plan going into a competition! So without further ado, here's my strategy for Sunday's HT:

  • Warm-up outside of the crowded schooling ring if at all possible.
  • Install the GO BUTTON first and foremost! 
  • Use transitions and a slow, methodical elevation of the frame to get Dino working correctly. Don't push for round and connected right away - ride him like you do at home. 
  • Give yourself AT LEAST 30 mins of warm-up time. Don't rush it. 
  • In the test, focus on bending and give hands forward when Dino is behaving himself. 
  • LOOK around turns and PREPARE for each movement!
  • If Dino's feeling sticky, a good canter down the long side before entering the court can do good things. 
  • Coax the free walk out - swing the legs and close the hips! 
  • Remember the test. Yeah.

Chicken wings do not make ponies fly higher.
  • Keep warm-up short and sweet, and don't give the pony a lot of time to hang out by the in-gate.
  • Test the GO and WHOA buttons thoroughly before getting started with the course! 
  • Ride FORWARD out of the turns - accelerate through the apex like when driving a car.
  • Focus on the rhythm & balance of the canter, don't worry about the distance or the numbers. 
  • When in doubt, MORE LEG! Embrace the long spot - it isn't as long as you think it is. 
  • Be insistent that Dino follow your intended path, not the one he thinks is best. 
  • Capture the Magic Canter that gave you this kickass 3'6" fence last night:
This was not scary at all! Excellent canter FTW!
Cross Country
  • Another short & sweet warm-up here - check the GO and WHOA, pop over a fence or two, then get crackin'. 
  • My attitude is going to be the most important factor for XC. I tend to get anxious and scared, which makes it hard for me to, you know, actually ride and make decisions. POSITIVE THINKING is the name of the game here! 
  • Come out of the start box with an aggressive mindset and a strong gallop. 
  • Use the "preparation zone" to set Dino up for each fence. 
  • Speaking of the preparation zone, my plan is to map out exactly where on course I'm going to start preparing for each obstacle - which includes strategies for riding more aggressively at questions, like the water, that may cause Dino to hesitate. 
  • Maintain a rhythm - don't change the speed of the canter, just balance back. 
  • HAVE FUN - I shouldn't be peeing my pants in fear, here. I get to bomb around on an amazing pony and jump stuff. Heck yeah! 
Here goes nothing.


  1. You got this!!! That's a great game plan and well within your and Dino's skill set and capability!! He's gonna laugh at those tiny stadium fences after jumping 3'6" like nbd, and you'll be there to tell him the xc fences are just as easy :D


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