If you've followed my blog for the past few years, you know that January is rarely my best month when it comes to competitive fire and self-confidence in my riding. Last year I avoided the problem altogether by being 3,000 miles away from my horses... though obviously that was a bit of a downer, too, in its own way!
This year I've been really conscious of not making these first few weeks of the new year a big deal. I've been doing a lot of chilling, a lot of hacking, a lot of thinking about position, and as little thinking as possible about competition dates and goals.
But, as the month draws to a close and Ringo and I get back into pretty much full work, I've been finding myself thinking more and more excitedly about the first time we'll go down the centerline this year. Originally I had planned to wait until Galway to debut, but I'm thinking now that I might want to get out once before then if I can, just because the CIC*** test is quite difficult and I'd like to get the rust knocked off a bit before jumping right into the deep end!
So, at the moment, my competition schedule looks like this:
19 February - IDA Show @ UC Davis (Davis, CA)
3-4 March - IDA Show @ Stanford (Stanford, CA)
16-18 March - Golden State Dressage (Rancho Murieta, CA)
31-1 April - Galway Downs CIC (Temecula, CA)
CIC*** Test Ride
11-13 May - Starr Vaughn (Elk Grove, CA)
Depending on how previous shows have gone, either 3rd or 4th level
17-20 May - Woodside Dressage (Woodside, CA)
Same plan as Starr Vaughn
In order to get ready to show again, I've also declared February to be NO STIRRUPS MONTH! Meaning that I'll warm up with stirrups (only fair to Ringo's back) then drop them for the actual working portion of every ride. I think I'm going to start today, as I'm legitimately excited to make my seat deeper and stronger. Should be fun!
(Ringo showing off his bomb free walk at our first show back together in over a year at GMHA last summer!)