Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Novice #2 = Success

This past Sunday, Tillie and I loaded up and headed over to Loch Moy for our second Novice event of the season. If you guys remember, last year this event was a bit of a shit show. (Read about the XC fails here and dressage fails here). So I headed back in the hopes we could redeem ourselves and have some dignity this time around.

For the sake of keeping these posts from turning into novels, I am going to once again break down each phase in separate posts. But this one will be a sneak preview ;)

All prepped and ready
With our jump lesson thursday feeling really rough/forward I was a bit less confident going in to this weekend. I had a dressage lesson Friday that felt ok, but we also were schooling some newer things and working on upping the game so things just felt different. Tillie tends to get a bit defensive when changing the game on her so its a bit of a fine line trying to coax her into the new stuff...and with what horse is that NOT like? Lol... So my last schooling ride the day before the show was ok and left little to be desired since she still just seemed to not want to let go of some tension and really relax like she has been in recent rides.

What happens when black polish gets mistaken for regular hoof polish - lots of scrubbing
I went home Saturday night feeling a bit in my head and less confident, BUT I did find comfort in our training and found some solace in knowing even with things feeling ok, we still could do it, it just meant me needing to be more on my A game.

We pulled into Loch Moy and I mentally prepared for our dressage knowing this venue is pretty darn crowded so fully expected Tillie to have a harder time. We got there so early to give me time to get her to settle in and I chose to walk the XC course first (which in hindsight I am soooo glad we did). It was humid and muggy so relaxing and cooling off at the trailer was a better move than trying to walk the course between dressage and stadium.

I hopped on for dressage and Tillie walked on a loose rein quite well and would only get slightly jumpy if someone came too close or ran up behind us. She recovered in a matter of moments though and was content. This made me hopeful for our test...until I picked her up and started asking for her to work. The walk was decent enough, but then going into trot she woke up. It was either bracing and racing or low and slow...no in between. It also didnt help I came in ready to ride novice A and actually had to do novice B - Luckily I have been riding both lately so could adapt but it was a bit of a last minute "oh crap" thing... Despite this we put in an ok test and got a 31.8.

oh so tense Tillie...and me trying realllly hard to be soft

Stadium felt amazing and was by far the smoothest phase of the day. All the mistakes made were piloting errors and non faults of Tillies (Like burying her to fence #2 which she luckily got over with no rails).

Part of the outside line to two stride line

XC was also pretty good with the exception of a few things which Ill go over in my posts...but we did all the harder options and it was pretty darn smooth!

We need to work on cantering into water...but she was forward!

We ended on our dressage score and ended up in 5th place!! All in all it was a successful day and I think prepares us a bit more for June 11th!