Monday, June 23, 2014

Crazy Wonderful

This past Saturday was supposed to be Fox's debut in the show ring. We were going to do our best Faux Hunter Princess impression and strut it at a local show.  This time thankfully I do not have to chalk up our lack of appearance due to a certain horse's disinterest in getting in to the trailer.  No this time the weather blew in and the coordinators cancelled the show.

I did however have a fantastic school on Friday. The weather held off and it was pretty decently dry in my riding area. I set up a couple of warm up cross rails, then two cross rails in a line with an unrelated distance because I was sure given Fox's plow horse tendencies we weren't going to be setting any land speed records, making distance a non-issue.

We practiced a lot of walk to trot transitions, something he's getting better about and also trying to get lots of impulsion at the trot, something he's not so great about. We did lots of changes of direction and circles to try and get some softness and suppleness.  Fox is actually getting really good at giving to the bit though Friday he was a little crabby about it because I'd taken more of a hold then I usually do. But once he realized we were jumping he ceased to care about the contact.

The first couple of jumps were kinda eh. More of a wake-up there is something in front of you which you need to step over.  And once I stopped looking at the fence (old bad habit I am still trying to shake) then he was better at picking up his feet. 

The best part though and as usual Superhubs who was cleaning out his truck missed it.  On the last run through of the line Fox actually cantered off after the second fence!  Six strides even!  I was a little surprised but I softened and forced myself not to panic and not to pull.  Which is my standard fall back reaction when my horse gives me an upward transition that I didn't ask for.  This all goes back to my issues with Seneca who could and did try to run off with me at least once a ride. But I'm slowly learning that my plow horse usually (there was that one time at the park when he lost sight of Cowboy) doesn't harbor those kinds of thoughts in his head.  He's more like that surfer who smoked half a dozen joints and won't get off the couch unless absolutely forced to.

But all this is not the Crazy Wonderful for which I named the post.  I found out some time last week when I was crusing the Central Virginia Combined Training Association's facebook page that Dom Schramm was coming to give a clinic at a farm about 2.5 hours from me.  Que the super fan girl squeal! Originally I was just going to go audit. Because I was sure there wouldn't be any spots open, or any stalls available, or a level for which I thought Fox and I could enter with confidence.

But being me I was curious so I emailed the coordinator.  Yes they did still have one spot left. In the INTRO SECTION! And the barn did still have one stall available! I could not believe my luck. I hesitated for a second before telling the coordinator  Yes please! When she asked if I wanted to the spot. 

I am as I told my friends both anxious and excited.  Anxious because when I have to take my full rig somewhere I have never been I always get nervous.  What if the driveway had a really narrow opening? Where was parking going to be? In a nice open field or somewhere less parking friendly? I'm not going to have to back up am I? AM I!?  At which point that more sane part of my brain kicked in.

You can already get your trailer in to the narrowest driveway on the planet that has ugly drop offs in to nasty ditches on both sides.  If you're in a field no problems, if not ask for help.  Backing up, if you feel you can't, again just ask for help.  Eventers are super nice people no need to panic.  Yeah my heart rate is still freaking out just writing this.

Also will the Super Plow Horse and I be able to perform all the exercises and not embarass ourselves? This is where my plan to train for the clinic kicks in. I know it sounds weird but if I expose Fox to grids and say 2ft fences now we should be cracking along by the time we have to do it in front of Dom Schramm.  And there is the whole cantering thing.  I need to strengthen the Plow Horse's butt so we can I don't know actually canter around an entire arena. 

So with all those plans made there is only one more question.  What are Fox and I going to where? Keep it between the flags everyone.


  1. Hi Eventing at Midnight,

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    Best wishes,

    Hannah Hooton