Earlier in the year when I was looking ahead with hope and optimism I tried to decide what I wanted to do with the red rogue pony this year. January 2016 (pre-pregnancy) I was putting down on paper how I was going to finally get to a Beginner Novice horse trial. Well then the big monkey wrench got thrown and my whole season was gone.
It didn't stop me from buying a massive amount of horse gear or dreaming of the future. My pony got almost an entire year off, not that he complained, lazy beast that he is. But it put me back at square one again this winter. How was I going to get from not even a publically acceptable canter to going Beginner Novice? How was I going to get from my small dream of being able to ask for the canter and getting it, to the bigger dreams of BN, to the biggest dream (right now anyway) of completing a long format three day?
Well, when you don't know the way (women anyway) stop and ask for directions. In rider land that means getting help from instructors, trainers, coaches. Looking back on my riding education I realized I didn't have the best upbringing, riding-wise. I had a lot of desire to ride. I had a lot of teachers but no one that really stands out, except that one awful one that verbally abused me.
My best memories, the ones where I felt I learned the most were from a couple of people. My old coach Chris, who I sorely wish had stayed out here on the east coast and Dom Schramm. I had two clinics with Dom and I dearly wish that either of his two home bases were a manageable distance. They aren't though anyplace in Pennsylvania and Florida is not even drive it for a weekend manageable. But thinking about how much I got out of those two clinics really got me thinking about the quality of education I want.
So, this Saturday I am sucking up the 3 1/2 hours, one way, drive to central Virginia to ride with a new coach. She is one of three trainers at Spreiser Sport Horses (you can read about Lauren on COTH where her blog lives) For the rest of this year, until maybe October or November, Fox and I will be getting our dressage on. I have plans, if we can get the canter issue sorted, to take Fox to a multi-day dressage show in June. It will be one of two planned outings. I'll try to go to some dressage schooling shows around home, when all the stars align(meaning, weather, husband to watch the baby and time to train the red pony).
The second outing is still in the maybe stages but I want to take Fox down to the War Horse horse trials in North Carolina and do one of the lower levels. I want an easy, stress free, confidence building outing. Then we'll work on our xc and show jumping, plus the dressage because I actually love it. So that maybe, just maybe next year we can go out at Beginner Novice.
That's plan anyway and the dream.
Keep it between the flags!