Monday, August 29, 2011

I get knocked down

It's been a tough few weeks at base camp.

Work has been beating up on me for a little while now, and late-season exhaustion has officially kicked in. It's always the last stretch that is the hardest. Kind of like the 10th round in boxing, where both parties are slugging it out. There's just that urge just to continue to see what you've started to the finish.

After the clinic, we took Monday off, worked Tuesday and Wednesday. Normally with a show on the horizon, I don't leave town, but as a change of pace, I went to San Diego for a business trip. Sinari is a little confused by the R&R time, but I think it will help keep her fresh for the final push of the season.

I hated to do it, but I canceled our PSG test at NDPC. She was a little sore. So instead of pushing the issue and potentially having a greater problem, I erred.

Despite the light two weeks the predominate theme has been tempi's, pir's and canter tour.The timing has gotten better for the canter zig-zag, but the left-right change is sticky and the right pir is very large still.

The trot work is coming well. The half pass has gotten flowy-er before the break I could add a lot of power.

Sinari isn't the only one who is shining with the work. Sincere, is quickly proving he's going to be a nice horse.

Aside from the serious delight to work around, he's a clever mover. The goal as always with him is to keep his interest in the new work and develop consistency within the gaits. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

No one said it would be easy but no one said it would be so hard

This past weekend we finally scored a pair of eyes on the ground and started to throw the test together.

Prior to this weekend I had maybe done the meat of the test a dozen times either concentrating on just trot or canter tours, and even then I didn't do them in entirety (yeah those two canter pir's to the four's, threes and extended... woo).

On the surface the PSG is the equivalent of fourth level. Same movements. Different beast entirely.

It's deceptively flowy, with softball setups on paper. In reality it's rapid fire execution and claims serious real estate in making the rider and horse be fit to actually carry through and execute. This is not a test for the under prepared. I think the test writers must have been laughing all the way to the bank when they wrote it.

With this weekend we identified two weak spots in our work. Canter zig zag and the pir's. The pir's are still too large but the zig zag is a matter of attacking the set up. The tempi's were also weaker because we ramped up the balance.

It's also the first time I felt what we are going up against.

It's hard. Especially the canter work at the end where it all happens all at once with separate scores on just about everything. It doesn't help that we're stuck in arenas where the dimensions are skewed.

But the challenge has given me food for thought of what I want to do with this part of my life. Is it hard? Yes. These are the hardest tests in the sport.

Does it make me want to do this for the rest of my life? Yes. Insanely, yes.

So it's time, as Koford has said, to throw our big girl pants on and suck it up. Four weeks till lift off.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

How to see the sun rise

The two Bronze rides from VA came in the mail the other day, I finally figured out how to upload them to Youtube.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sunset in July

We went back to work last week and started hauling through the training. We had our arguments about certain items, and we began discussing the tempi's again and a number of other things, but it seems that we're right where we need to be. We've worked through the vast majority of elements in the PSG, and I'm feeling fairly satisfied over it. Today she worked pir's with moderate success.

The time in the fields did her well, although she came back from her gallop sets a little more braced and rushy. I'm happy to have her back in the arena. I managed to carve out a kur, I just want to get it in front of JK and CF for final approval before I ship the tapes out and stick it on Youtube.

August for us is normally a light month, there is only one show in-state and it's usually too hot to even thing about attending unless you're desperate for a score. Riding is usually kept to early mornings or evenings, and there's usually a lot of water involved for all parties.

I'm using this month to prep up for the final show of the season, the National Dressage Pony Cup. The NDPC is a strictly pony-only show, it's sister show, East Coast Pony Cup, takes place later this month in New York. While I really wish I was going, a lot of good ponies are going to be there, but it's just not in the cards this year. I have a feeling that I will be the only one at PSG at this one, and the judges are pretty alright.

I've seriously waited for this entry for a long time and I'm still a little hyper, and a little sensitive about entering. It's a huge leap. But I trust the training, and I trust the people that have brought me to this point and believe that the pony can do it.

So far, we've managed to get good training in, and it doesn't feel like we're over doing things, and hopefully within the four weeks we can put everything together. Despite a low-key schedule there is a lot being planned to get us through the month.

But for now July's recap:

July Goals:
-Clinic in TN
Check, it didn't go exactly as planned, but ended up exactly how we needed to be.
-VA Show
Check, biggest success of the month. Had a fantastic time there. Want to go back.
-Finish Bronze
Check. Best birthday present the pony could have given me.
-Halts and transitions
Still need work, we need to bump those 6's and 7's.
-Condition, condition, condition
Check. She's gained more muscle for the mediums and extensions.
-Decide level for NDPC
See photo:)
-Finish Kur.
Check. Just have to choreograph.
-Tempi's, big, bold tempi's.
Rehashed these. She needs an adjustment and a reflock to really start swinging for the fences. 

August Goals:
-Clinic in TN
-School through PSG
-Send entry in for NDPC
-Re-flock saddle
-Transitions, halts, lateral work
-Finalize Kur.