Tuesday, January 19, 2010

First Week Back in California and Twin Rivers Combined Test

Holy crap it's been a wild first week back on the left coast! I got back, drove straight down to Atascadero, and jumped in the saddle. Ringo feels wonderful after his month of professional leg-up... though I wish I could say the same about his jockey! I was definitely feeling pretty rusty and spent most of the first week trying to kick the rust off. After flatting on Tuesday, we jumped on Wednesday, went for a gallop on Thursday, jumped again on Friday, and had a serious flat lesson on Saturday. Add that in with riding several other horses each of those days, and I was pretty cooked! It's so great to be back riding again, even if I did feel pretty out of the groove a few times this week.

We topped it all off with a trip over to Twin Rivers on Sunday to do a combined test. I did a modified program where I did an Intermediate dressage test and a preliminary show jumping round. I thought it was one of our best dressage tests yet in terms of Ringo's obedience, though I knew that it wouldn't score too high because I made a lot of careless mistakes. I was pretty bummed when I got the sheet back because not only did the judge agree with me on our numerous errors but also took issue with some more basic things like Ringo's outline and shape, which I had been pretty happy with. I also got a 6 on rider which was a bit disappointing, rustiness and all. I guess it's back to the drawing board...

A couple hour wait and I was back on to do my show jump round. Ringo and I have definitely struggled in the show jumping warmup in the past, where he has gotten a little wild and then I've gotten nervous and tense, in turn making Ringo even more wild (and me more nervous!). This time, I was really proud of myself because when he got tense I just stretched up, sat back, and gave him a strong half-halt supported by leg. And it really worked! Ringo was stellar in the warmup and then really good in the ring as well. I went to my hand a little bit too much on course, causing him to get a little bit behind my leg, but all in all was really pleased. My only major regret was wearing my big yellow work gloves, which in the steady rain we had gotten all day had become slick as snot, making it impossible for me to even keep a hold on the reins!

It's supposed to rain hard the next few days, so I think the plan is to take it pretty easy before gearing up for Thermal in two weeks. Excited!!

1 comment:

Sam said...

Gosh, I can only imagine how nice it must be to be able to do combined tests in January! My horse and I are getting sorely tired of our cramped little indoor...

Congratulations on your triumph in the sj warm up and on course, and you have my sympathies for dressage. My nerves really hit me in dressage, for whatever reason, and my horse is completely sure that when I'm tense, he's supposed to canter! I'm sure we've caused several chuckles by cantering most of center line in our beginner novice test a time or two... :)

Good look in the future!

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