Friday, September 9, 2016

"I don't think you need to be doing starter anymore." -Chris Pope

Dieter and I had an awesome weekend schooling at Heritage Park in Olathe, KS. We decided to take Dieter on Saturday to school all the beginner novice jumps (seeing as we're planning on doing the BN recognized horse trial in October). He was an absolute rockstar! We started with a starter jump and then never looked back. He did all the beginner novice jumps they have to offer. He happily cantered into the water. We even played with banking up out of water and down into water and he couldn't care a bit. He was absolutely perfect. He didn't stop at anything. He didn't look at anything. The jumps were no problem. If anything, he was looking at transitions, things like a butterfly that flew through our path, or the treeline with shadows, or the fallen jump in the distance that was no where near where we were headed. The jumps were phenomenal. Check out the compilation YouTube video here.

Then on Sunday, we did the beginner novice combined test. We warmed up fine. I'm too abrupt with my transitions and not consistent enough in my requests and reprimands. And then there's the problem of that pesky left hand that does whatever it wants. I'll work on it, and hopefully we can get it fixed for October. When we went into the test, I totally lost my brain. I was using indirect rein. My reins got too long. I really wasn't asking for what I wanted. I rode too much with my hands and not enough with my legs. We had inconsistent connection. It was kind of a mess. But we walked away with a 37.25. Then I had to do a quick tack change and ride Coco.

I decided to ride Dieter first in the jumping, because I wanted to make sure I had enough of a warm up with him whereas with Coco, I would probably be ok with a shorter warm up. When they raised the jumps to BN height, my heart dropped a bit. The jumps looked big! But nothing we haven't done before. We jumped the warm up cross rail several times before we came to the vertical. Our first attempt at the warm up vertical, I dropped him 2 strides in front of the fence and he skidded into the jump, but jumped obediently. I realized that I needed to suck it up and freaking ride my horse instead of freaking out about the height. He was perfect the rest of the warm up. He jumped everything well.

We went into our stadium round and he put on a clinic. He did fabulously. He didn't look at anything. He jumped everything perfectly. We need to work on lead changes after fences, but he figured it out eventually. He's a quick study. We went double clear to get first place in the combined test. Good boy, Dieter. (Check out our stadium round here) After that, I had to ride my 20 year old fire breathing dragon.... see Coco's blog.

After Coco was finished, we drove home and Dieter was a fiesty little red head as I gave him a lineament bath before I turned him out. He happily rolled and joined his buddies in the field.

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