Thursday, May 19, 2016

Our Novice debut in detail - stadium

After dressage, my nerves really started to get to me. I HATE waiting and would much rather just do it all right away. Tillie was calm as a cucumber at the trailer seemingly unaware of our looming stadium and XC rounds which helped. Luckily I had to walk my courses which gave me something to do...

Glad this part was over! 
I walked the stadium course, which was on grass, and was glad to know I was rider #7 so was hopeful the footing would hold up ok. We had two lines in the course that made me thankful for my P lessons. One was a one stride, another was a two stride. I knew I had to make sure I came into them forward and with soft hands and could hear Dan in my head telling me how to ride through the turn to get the right approach.

After I got back to the trailer, I went ahead and put hind studs on Tillie and opted for one of the smaller sets I had. The ground wasnt THAT terrible, but knowing Tillie's sensitivity to slipping I figured it wouldnt hurt to have them.

My niece also was a good distraction and her questions kept my nerves preoccupied 

Warming up, Tillie was right with me. She was a bit excited, but not at all leaning on the bit...just a bit reactive to leg like in dressage so I made a point to just warm up easy breezy and stay out of her way before sitting on her and packing her back together.

I sort of followed this "Im not touching you" mode over the small x-rail a few times but did ask her to land on whatever lead I asked which she did swimmingly.

I did the same over a small 2'3-2'7 ish vertical before starting to ask her to work more and it was quite easy and less of a reaction when I did. Once I felt like I found the allusive 12ft canter stride I started warming up over the novice size fences and this also felt really nice. We walked a bit...stood and watched a few rounds and about two riders ahead of me, I popped over the novice fence two more times for good measure.

Oxer in one of the lines

She was giving me some fuss about landing on the left lead, but I chose not to fight it and keep things nice and relaxed, confident in the ring we would be able to manage.

The round went pretty smoothly. There were a few biffs on my part and I was getting a bit jumped out of the tack, but I recovered and Tillie luckily is a good girl and saved my butt. She handled the lines like a champ and I had really nice adjustability throughout the entire thing. She still wouldnt give me the darn left lead, but she at least offered flyings to make up for it.

I was super pleased with how well she went and how much she was in tune with me. There was no leaning, no OMG please slow down moments. I am hopeful we continue on this trend! Any mistakes were my mistakes...and I know i was getting a bit ahead on some. So back to homework for myself to MAKE myself wait more with my shoulders.


  1. The girls videoing were cracking me up. I sound just like that watching people ride.

    You guys are looking good!

    1. Bahaha I know right!? The one that said I can't breathe was my mom! She hasn't seen me compete in a few years!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks!! The video masks some stuff but all in all it felt ok!