I wanted to write this post myself to really share with you my feelings from this last outing. I rode Sabrina in her first Intermediate of 2012 and Puttin On the Ritz in his first Preliminary of 2012. Both horses have been really training great, jumping very well, I was very excited for this outing. The excitement quickly dwindled! If you look at the score sheet you'll think it was a complete disaster. It felt a bit like that- however, I've had some time to process what happened with each horse, no disaster's just life.
Sabrina put in a really good test for where she is at right now. To be honest I walked out with a tear in my eye, so proud of how she has developed. She's a lovely dressage horse, but competition gets her worried, her and I have really developed a bond and I think a "strategy" to over-come the rectangle. She got a "9" for her first medium trot, pretty exciting! Then there was show jumping. Two weeks earlier we had a clean round, pretty and clean that is. I was and am so proud of that. I realized now that I didnt lead her up to this event as well- she needs to have a day early in the week with course practice, not necessarily big fences but obedience :) It wasnt an aweful round, she had 2 rails down, next time... Then on cross country day Sabrina was pretty much a champ. She is such an honest horse- corners and water feel fun on her, its great. Saying that, she is a horse and I need to be ready to help her when she finds things challenging. This time the coffin was getting many horses, and it got her. Had I been prepared for her not getting this, we might have had a no jump fault round. BUT I wasnt. No matter how honest of a xc horse she is- I'll be ready next time!
Puttin on the Ritz- This is one of my most talented up and coming horses- but he is up and coming. His athletic ability over jumps has preceded his maturity! Young horses go through learning curves and right now we are dealing with bringing along his dressage skills with "relaxation" in the show ring. More so we are dealing with a water phobia. This guy didn't like water as a true youngster and that has seemed to come out and haunt us in the cross country. Im a firm believer in getting the horses confident when they school xc and allowing them to test out the water. I think now we need to move on to developing confidence in me that if I put him in front of a water jump he believes that he can do it! Benny is still inquisitive, I dont mind that, but I think it's time to develop focus :) With this horse I brought him out this year as I would a seasoned competitor- poor guy ist that yet, he is still a youth. I plan on entering him into some schooling shows and a more local event before taking him back out onto a "big time" course. I believe in him and luckily for both of us so do his owners! Super big thanks goes out to the Klavens. Great supporters. Nancy Klavens is at home with an injured hip--- I sure hope to deliver some good news to that household soon!
Now it's time to look into how to change the schedule for these horses to help produce confidence and brilliance next time...