Friday, October 28, 2016

Reflecting on the 2016 season

Where do I even begin? I feel like this season, compared to previous ones, was so jam packed with events and things that it makes my head spin...and probably why I sort of called it a season slightly early.

I am a bit disappointed I will not be doing any more events, but with the hard ground lately and my feelings of my own riding...I decided that digging into lessons and really smoothing out the wrinkles is what we need to focus on right now.

This time last year, we still had this happening frequently in every ride
Its incredible to think back to this time last year, where we started this year compared to where we are now. Even with that knowledge, its easy to get caught up in the now and think we still stink...which relatively speaking, we still do in many ways lol. There will always be more to work on.

But back to the point: Our show season in review.

We started off with a dressage fix-a-test trying out Novice USEF tests to see if moving up to novice was even feasible. (Full recap here)

Great way to kick off the season!

Next up, I entered in a Dom Schramm clinic (conclusion and recap here) pretty last minute on a whim and boy did it pay off. I truly believe this clinic was the catalyst to our season and the HUGE confidence booster needed.

Then we had our first event of the season at Beginner Novice at Olde Hope where we finished 2nd! (Recap here):

With the success of the BN event, we moved up to our first novice at the middle of May at EEHC horse trials where we got FIRST!! (Full recap here)

Schooling at home right before our show, this is prob the most confident jumping I felt all year

Then at the end of May we did our second Novice at Loch Moy where we got 5th and finished on our dressage score (recap here):

I decided to try out recognized shows at novice then to start prepping for down the road. Since only a handful of Trainings are starter events...and so we wouldn't have to worry about both that and a move up when the time came. I remember the time penalties being a bit of a shock, but a good learning experience. If I recall, we were 4th after dressage, but stadium time penalties bumped us down to 7th (recap here)

We did a training level derby at Fair hill...which I sadly had no media of, but it was a test for the bigger fences. Tillie ate them up and I felt good about it. We went to another starter Novice event at fair hill and it was probably the most confident I have ever felt (recap here)

Later in July we went to our second recognized event...and I just wasn't on my A game. Tillie carried us through dressage despite my errors and forgetfulness, we woke up a bit in stadium only to run out of gas in XC and misread a fence we both took a spill at (recap here)

So we pressed on with encouragement from our trainers, and it really did feel like we bounced back as we prepped for our big move up to Training.

I returned to loch moy and conquered the fence we fell at plus a few more in POURING rain...definitely made for an interesting story. But I decided to do a CT before we gave our move up a go.

We did a Training level CT at loch moy to determine how things felt and boy did Tillie knock it out of the park. Again, jumping her never felt better and our dressage was one of the best feeling tests Ive ever ridden (recap here)

But then I think the fall started to creep in and by the time we got to our first ever training event at our old stomping grounds (a farm we visit almost weekly) and I slightly panicked when walking the course leaving my headspace not where it needed to be (recap here). Funny thing is, the XC portion was the most laid back and easy thing of the entire day...when it was what I was worried about the most:

So I realized at this point, on an off day, we can no longer squeak by...the higher fence height, width and questions in stadium tattled on me...We were consistently jumping this height and here at this farm without ever touching rails so to knock two, and then blow by a jump all together...well rider error sucks.

So I decided to try again this time at waredaca (recap here). Once again, HUGE rider error in that I totally had prepared the wrong test...and it didn't help the test I needed to have prepared I hadn't even seen ridden before...compounded by the fact that they pushed up all our times but neglected to tell me so literally had 5 minutes to warm up and as the rider before me was halting and saluting, I was trying to learn my new test. Once again, stadium was ok with some weird out of sync stuff...but XC Tillie owned it and it wasn't exactly the easiest XC course!

 Sure we went around soooo slow accruing a TON of time penalties, but Dom reassured us that is what we need for right now and we would work on adding the speed. Which I am pleased after last weekend, I think we found the ticket to do it.

So we aren't doing any more events this year...I would have liked to, but because we ended so strongly XC the dressage and stadium we can iron out in this off season as well as me getting my crap together and learning how to read omnibus'.


  1. Wow, what a year! Excited to follow along with you two in 2017 :)

    1. Thanks!! I am super please with the progress :) And really glad to have a sound horse that I finally could compete!

  2. What a fabulous season! Ribbons, great move ups, and triumph over scary stuff! :) Congrats