I was a little worried to step on the scale this morning. With the horse show last weekend I had a couple “bad” meals. I packed some food but you know how shows are, I ended up there a lot longer than I had planned. Saturday my dinner was pizza and then Sunday I had a walking taco cause hello, horse show staple! I worked really hard the rest of the time though and with the extra exercise from schooling two horses and running around for TS on Friday and then showing Saturday and Sunday must have really helped.
**I don’t know what happened last week because I know that I wrote up a Friday post but it was never actually posted. I lost 1.2lbs last week.
Well, I did it, I did my first show since falling off on schooling day at finals. There were some highs, lows, and heart racing moments. It was a very small show but luckily my barn mate rode both her lease horse and old lease pony so our division could run without being combined with the juniors. She didn’t do eq so I did have to ride with the juniors for those classes. Unfortunately, I do not have any media.
Let’s start with the good.
Yep, we won champion for our hunter division! Saturday was interesting scheduling wise so we had a flat then 3 hours later another flat then 2 hours after that we jumped. It really was not planned out well but it got done. Our 2 flats that day were both eq (even though I was not jumping in my higher division I still did my eq OTF) and I was in with the juniors. My first one we ended up 6th out of 6 because Winifred just finds the walk a useless gait. He was actually pretty good but he decided to bust into the canter right were the judge could see. It was not dramatic. He got one stride before I got him back. The sad thing is that the exact moment I got him back the announcer called for the canter. I mean really if she had announced it literally one second earlier we would have been so slick! Lol. He did a trot step from the walk in the other eq OTF but the judge may have missed that and we ended up 2nd. He was not spooking he just sees absolutely no use for the walk. LOL
Our first time on course started out really well but then the damn long approach and we had a refusal. We just did not have a spot and I dropped my hands. I am still working on seeing a spot farther out and riding to it. Love Winifred but if you do not ride perfectly to the spot he is not likely to help you find it. On the good side we came right back around and jumped it beautifully then finished the last line nicely. Unfortunately, since there was a tack change I had to stay in the ring. We normally must take a mental break for Win but had to go right away. This means that he was ready to run! This time the course started with the long approach halleluiah it was gorgeous! I mean seriously guys it was in perfect right off the stride flow! He was hella strong though for the rest of the course but pat myself on my shoulder because I sat my ass back pulled and did not allow him to drop a single stride.
Sunday we only had one hack and it was clear to me that he was JAZZED up! It took everything I had to keep him under control but somehow we must have made it look good cause we got 1st and quite a few people told me how good he looked. Uh ok. We went right into our last hunter round without a warm-up. I am really proud of that course. It started with on a 5 stride on the diagonal (well a 4 but TS and I decided to make him do the adds to help keep him from getting even more jazzed), outside line in a 6, long approach to a single on the diagonal (which this time went super smooth), then to the other outside line in 6. When we first jumped that line even on schooling day he was concerned about the green box. Why though?!?!!? This I the same green box we have jumped a hundred times! Back to our Sunday course, it was our last line and he came around the corner wide-eyed and clearly backing off. This is the line that I am most proud of this weekend. I had to force him over that fence but then had to MAJORLY whoa after. I did it though! I still made him do the add and again it must not have looked as bad as it felt because we got 1st again. We did get a breather round before heading into our eq OF. I was incredibly disappointed in the course. Can we please have an actual eq course?!?!? The show was at our barn but it was hosted by a different barn so the course was not designed by TS or else it would likely have been an actual eq course. The course was just the single vertical on the diagonal but this time headed home, the other diagonal, outside line, then the single diagonal again but headed to the clubhouse like we had been jumping it, then ending on the green box outside line. I am still annoyed. SOOOOOO BORING!!!!
The course started good but then he grabbed the bit and tried to run to the long approach. I sat back and pulled and thought we approached at a good tempo but he slammed the breaks. I stayed on but I was frustrated because I swear to you I did not tip!! TS said that the spot was there and I softened when we got there but I did not then leg up. She said that when you are on a runaway freight train your instinct it to only hit the breaks and it is not natural to then hit the gas. Came back around and tried it again this time with legging him at the fence. TS said I rode that approach perfect but at that point Winifred was nervous and he refused again. This time though I ended up coming off. Luckily, I landed on my feet on top of the straw bale facing the judge so what do you do when that happens? You raise your arms in a gymnast fashion! The judge said that I received a blue ribbon for that dismount. Too bad I don’t have video!
Not the way I wanted it to end and I am still frustrated with myself but I am trying to remind myself that overall it was a positive experience. TD and I talked after and she tried to put it in perspective and be happy with the small things. She reminded me how the girl who had Win before me also had refusals but also very frequently dropped strides so me getting him to do adds is actually making him do 2 more strides in a line. I know that it doesn’t sound like a big win but I will take any win that I can get.
Another great week! I had my first real “have you lost weight” Wednesday night. I say ‘real’ because it was from someone who did not know that I have been trying to lose. I can’t wait to get my show clothes on and see if I can see a difference. Between the weight loss and some marginally nice weather, I am in such a fantastic mood! Oh yeah, and it is a FRIDAY!!!!
With my Mardi Gras trip, I did not do an official weigh in but unofficially I was up 1.5lbs so really this week I lost 3.3lbs!
….that is the question. I just wanted to show you that I am a well rounded cultured person so I decided to get a little Shakespearian on you. Lol. I am really trying to make this decision though. I have had 2 jump lessons since my last riding post and I am really proud of them. Well, I am REALLY proud of the one and just regular proud of the second. Lol.
The lesson that I am REALLY proud of was on Friday. TS was at an away show so TD had to cover my lesson. TS is who most people think of as the “main” trainer at the barn because she is the one who still does the training rides and shows and because of that some people prefer to lesson with just her. I do love lessoning with TS but I also really love when I get to lesson with TD. Just because TD isn’t full time riding now doesn’t mean she hasn’t been there done that. She has a great show record but since they are sisters in this business TD focuses more on the management of the barn and not hardcore training aspect but she still knows her shit! Anyway, I really like riding with her sometimes because she sees different things than TS does. Plus I think that I emotionally connect with her a little more because I know that she has had some riding anxiety issues too. Like I said, she has shown it all but I think that she experiences a little anxiety like I do whereas TS is SUCH a confident rider.
Winifred was a little up because he hadn’t been ridden a lot while I was gone so of course my nerves were perked. We had the same super fun grid set up that we had a couple weeks ago (trot in to a 1 stride then to a 2 stride). Did the hunter course with that as our start and it went really well. Since he was so up we made him do the adds to keep him somewhat contained. He was pretty focused at the jumps but around each corner he was…..as J put it…..’animated’. Lol. I love the words we come up with when we want to describe a naughty horse without calling him naughty. As animated as he was on the corners and during his lead changes he became laser focused when he locked on to a fence. J went then TD put some of the fences up higher and all the oxers up, looked at me and said, “ok I know that you have had some issues this winter but it is time to get over them now! You will do the same course and you WILL give me that EXACT same ride. The jump changes do not matter.” And we did! Well… not quite the exact same. I did have a flub in the grid (thank you Winifred for being so damn athletic and saving our asses!). I was actually being too soft coming into the grid so instead of fully jumping the first fence he tripped over it but bless his athletic heart he was able to get us out without a single issue. TD said I could ride it again but I was so happy with the rest of the course and since it wasn’t my normal tipping issue I decided to end on that. I knew what I did wrong and it is an easy fix.
Tuesday we were back with TS. I was feeling good, Winifred was feeling good but then on our last line which was the diagonal home I made a critical mistake. We jumped in great but in my effort to be nice and soft with him I did not pull up fast enough to make the 5. We were clearly on a pace to do a 4 so I pulled up at our third stride and even when I did my thought was, “awe shit that was too late!” We ended up on the half stride, no big surprise there when your rider is a potato, and he slammed the breaks. I knew it was coming though and didn’t tip so I stayed on. TS knew that my thought was to be soft with him but she reminded me that you cannot be soft with him. If you are soft with him he will take advantage of you every time. Now I am not saying that you have to yank the crap out of his mouth every single time but you do need to have good contact and in this case more than just good contact because we were on the line headed straight for the exit. This is something that I know but I was so happy with how he had been I let that side of me falter just a little. I am happy though that I didn’t let it get to me. I gave myself credit for recognizing my problem and for sitting back so I didn’t fall off then I circled right around and jumped the line again this time taking control of him and doing the 5.
Now we return to the original question. We have a home, indoor show March 23-24th. Do I show? I asked TS after the lesson and I didn’t get the most positive answer. I got, “well what do you want to ride in?” She said that she was fine with me doing up to 2’3” but nothing bigger since we are just getting our groove back and haven’t done a ton. I was already questioning if I wanted to show because I do feel like we are just getting our confidence back and I am concerned that if it doesn’t go well I will be back to where I started. He is already a nervous horse, horse shows make it worse, and then indoor shows are even more terrifying to him. Let me change that, outdoor shows don’t really make him nervous he just gets very excited and when he gets excited his response is to RUUUUUNNNNNN! He loves jumping so much he just wants to get there sooner but that makes me nervous and that is when I tip. I just do not want to backslide just as I am making good progress. I talked a little with TD about this yesterday and she put me a little more at ease with first let’s just wait and see what the weather is like and second if we only do a warm-up class then, hey, we only do a warm-up class. What do you guys think? Should I risk the new confidence or wait until the show at the end of April show?
I told you all yesterday that I was working on a special project and I am really excited to share it with you! If you have not heard of the podcast Heels Down Happy Hour, you need to immediately go and download it right now! I mean it go right now and you can finish reading this post while the episodes download. It is this hilarious podcast that discusses current equestrian topics while the hosts share a cocktail (or two).
They had a recent podcast discussing anxiety in riding that someone had suggested that I listen to and from that episode I was hooked. I may even talk to my radio when they are on and I am pretty positive that my entire barn is so sick of hearing me talk about Jessica and Justine like they are totally my BFFs! I am still binging on past episodes and I swear every single one I have wished that I could add to their conversation. The thing I that love about this podcast is that it really is a conversation between friends. You learn so much but you learn it through hilarious banter of friends so when I saw that they had open casting call for a co-host position there was not a single moment of hesitation that I wanted in! I have been riding my whole life, I am outgoing which has put me in some hilarious situations, and I am not afraid to embarrass myself! The application is to simply post a video of you telling your most embarrassing riding story. While I have SO many that I could tell the video below describes what has to be my worst one.
Fingers, toes, legs, everything crossed hoping that I can join the cast so that I won’t look so crazy just talking to my radio! #HDHappyHour
Ok, this isn’t a real weigh in this week. As you know I spent the last week in Mardi Gras which was a lot of fun and well…… interesting! This was my first time in New Orleans so I have nothing else to judge it by but the French Quarters is CRAZY!!!! Lots of boobs, lots of beads, lots of alcohol, and legit people just passed out on the street! I was concerned about this guy passed out on the sidewalk at 12:30 pm but there were cops right there so I figured they had it taken care of. I did see him verticle much later that night so I felt a bit better. I am really sad that SnapChat did not save all of my pictures and videos. I had a hilarious video of me doing this shot chair thing that messed me up but that video is gone. I did notice lots of other people videoing so I am sure I am out on the internet somewhere. Lol
I may not have gone into the clinic for my weigh in but I did do an unofficial check on my home scale. I am thrilled that I am only up 1.5lbs!!!! I can’t tell you how exciting that is because I drank and I ATE!!!! Luckily, oysters and shrimp are pretty healthy proteins but they were not always cooked with healthy things. Lol
Alright, I am headed off to a lesson. Wish me luck cause Winifred did get 2 light rides in this week while I was gone but I was told that he was super strong! But first, you must get your weekly dose of cuteness from Finn. Oh, I did get some amazing kisses in the French Quarters from a Catahoula!!