Stressage

Fear not good people, Buddy and I haven’t entered the boards. But I did get to watch some dressage today. It was fun being at a horse thing, without doing the horse thing.

Great catching up with some lovely people. And being extra groom and videographer. Saw this quote on the toilet wall and it made me smile. It’s rather apt too.

It might be time for me to dust off Buddy’s dancing shoes as well. Kinda felt a bit inspired watching it today. Of course, that may pass…

Frillies

Popped over to Blackwater to catch up with the campers at T&N Equestrian’s camp. It was great catching up with everyone. It really got me in the camp vibe. Two more sleeps till Buddy and I head off to camp ourselves.

There were Dressage RC Area Qualifiers over there too so I caught up with even more people. Ended up grooming for a friend.

And collected two of the three rosettes I won last weekend at the SJ RC Area Qualifiers. I’ve had time to reflect on it more. To go to our first SJ RC Area Qualifiers and come back with three rosettes is pretty good going.

And we’ve qualified for the Championship in September too. Maybe we’re not that bad after all.

Saddle sore

Buddy had his saddle check today. It was a good news / bad news situation as I kinda thought it might be.

The good new is that his jump saddle needed flocking and a change of girth strap position to help the balance (we’re both wonky). He’s templating more evenly each time too. And the saddler said he’s looking really good at the moment.

The bad news is that the dressage saddle is a no-no. I kinda thought it was going to be the case after his adverse reaction to it a few weeks back. I got to ride in two other saddles and the different was amazing. He came up through his shoulders. And was so soft in the contact. I always amazed at how a different saddle can make such a difference. But then I guess it’s like a good fitting bra or running shoes.

It seems Buddy has very expensive tastes. Typically he preferred the most expensive option. It’s going on the wishlist.

So anyone want to buy a dressage saddle or a kidney…?! 😂

But the best news was that Buddy felt amazing jumping in his newly adjusted saddle.

Snot funny

After feeling better yesterday, I took a turn for the worst overnight. Woke up at 6:30am sneezing, coughing and generally feeling pants. Called it and withdrew from the dressage competition I’d entered.

The body is amazing, but how the hell does it produce so much snot?! Mine seems to be every good at it! We’ve all got talents I suppose…

I’m disappointed as I was looking forward to getting back between the boards. Well done everyone who was out today. I was cheering you on (from my snot-induced coma).

If I’m honest, the preparation wasn’t the best. And it’s highlighted that our schooling has slidden as I’ve been focusing on jumping. So decided to get back to regular lessons again.

I’m not being hard on myself. I understand why we are where we are. I’ve been pulled in a lot of directions lately. Guess my body has decided that I need a bit of rest.

So I spent the day in my ‘sanatorium’ aka the conservatory. Another early night for me.

Enjoy the ride

I’ve lost a bit of my riding mojo lately. It’s kinda understandable given the past few years and the number of plates I’m spinning. 2019 was the best year Buddy and I had together. We ticked so many things off my horsey bucket list and achieved so much together.

Sure I set my goals for 2022. But I felt downhearted and like we were going backwards. Things I’d normally look forward to or find easy suddenly seemed daunting.

Today I tackled it head on. First a dressage lesson with a new instructor at a new venue. Two things that could have concerned me in the past. But I felt confident, learnt a lot and really enjoyed my lesson. She was really insightful and explained so much of what’s going on with us. And gave me homework. We both got a good workout!

Then a coaching call with an equestrian coach to talk through my rider mindset. Another really insightful lady. She gave me some brilliant strategies and really helped sort my spaghetti brain. Oh and more homework.

We can struggle with any aspect of our lives. I’m grateful to have some amazing people in my tribe who I can reach out to. 😘

Get those steps up

Definitely hit my step target today. I’d racked up 18.5k by 3pm after two ‘walk and talks’. 👏🏻 And avoided the rain showers.

As if that wasn’t enough I had a dressage tonight. It’s probably a good job Buddy and I don’t track our steps. We covered quite a bit. And managed to finish before we lost the light.

All in all a good day.

Success

Well that’s another BHS Camp over. This one was our 4th together and I have to say, our best to date. I couldn’t fault Buddy over the past few days. He was quite the pro!

It feels like a lot of things have clicked this week. Every lesson we learnt something new. Every lesson we improved. Every lesson we rocked it.

We came 4th in the dressage! I have to admit, that really surprised me as I was first to go and thought I wasn’t our best.

On to the jumping and unfortunately had the last down. My fault. I held when I should have pushed. But I did get told I got a 10 for my position and actually sitting on my bum! Something I’ve really been working on.

The biggest shock though was to get a Special Award from the instructors. They all felt our improvement needed to be recognised.

Yes, I cried. It means so much to get that validation. Especially from such incredible instructors.

I’m still on a high! I’m also shattered! We will both sleep well tonight.

Sunday (Friday) 13th?!

Strap in, this could be a long one. Today we headed to Blackwater for our latest ODE. It was a scorcher for sure! Not our day as we were thwarted a lot today.

Decided to step up to the 80cm. We’ve been jumping them well in practise so thought it would be OK.

Now the advantage to doing the bigger class is that you don’t have to be up at the crack of dawn. Or plait the night before. Well this totally threw me. Woke up and didn’t know what to do with myself.

Probably the worst plaiting job I’ve ever done as I was a bit thrown by it all. Still off we headed. Secretly I was hoping for clouds and a stiff breeze by the time we arrived.

Parked up and was promptly told that the space was reserved. So I had to move. Finally found a space but on the wrong side to where I usually parked. So that threw me and I lost the lorry several times during the day.

Undeterred I tacked up and headed to dressage to warm up. Checked in with the steward and was told my ring. As I was walking into the warm up (trust me I was a lot hotter than warm already), I spotted the rider behind me had the same number. Seems mine had changed and I didn’t know.

That meant my times had changed too. So did my ring. Then it got changed back again. Slightly off putting. Not the best warm up I ever done.

But an OK test. I thought we’d done a decent job. Buddy was calm and so was I.

The judge didn’t agree though and gave us our worst ever score 47%. I’m really disappointment with that given the hard work I’ve been putting in with our flatwork. I guess she can only judge what she sees.

Bit of a wait till SJ meant I had time to correct my number and find out what my times should be. As I was on my own, I thought I’d get everything ready for my XC change over. Only to find that I’d left his XC boots at home. The advantage of a lorry is that you can leave everything onboard. That only works when you actually put them back after cleaning them. Managed to borrow some backs. And used my SJ fronts.

That sorted, it was time to tack up again. Buddy was flying in the SJ warm up. So I felt really good going into the ring. Buddy had other ideas and entered in feral mode. While we jumped them all, he sent a lot of them flying. Not even sure how many we had down.

Still at least we jumped them at the first attempt.

Quick turnaround for XC. Got halfway up to the warm up and realised I hadn’t put my body protector on. Seriously?! My brain had fried in the heat I think!!

Again we warmed up beautifully. Buddy locked on to all of the jumps. Headed to the start feeling good again. Then there was a hold on the course and the ambulance went heading off. Thankfully horse and rider were OK.

Once we got the green light again, we got moving again. Timed it a few seconds too quick so nearly headed off on 2. Managed to hold long enough for the go.

Buddy headed out of the start box brilliantly and stormed 1 & 2. He was eyes on stalks most of the way round so more interesting lines and another silly stop (I really need to learn to kick).

It was bloody hard work keeping it all together. It was ridiculously hot. So I could have done without being told off by one the the jump judges for swearing. Didn’t know there was a rule about that?! It wasn’t like I was swearing at her or beating my horse!

But we made it round.

Another cricket score to add to the collection.

I’m frustrated and disappointed by today. I know it’s horses. I know Eventing is bloody hard work. It’s really difficult to get everything right. I’m not ashamed to say I cried most of the way home.

I try so hard and put in the hard work. When it doesn’t go your way, it’s really hard to take in that moment.

II’m overtired, over hot and over emotional. I’ll bounce back. I always do.

Today we started together, finished together and did some stuff in between.

One day it will all come together…

Back to Eventing

First One Day Event of 2021.

Not our best day. But far from our worst. 35.25 for dressage. Which is our best score at an ODE.

Buddy was super relaxed and so was I. Got 7 x 7’s and nothing less than a 6. So really happy with that!

SJ I wasn’t sure how he was going to be but he was up for it. Flew round clear! There were 2 doubles so absolutely thrilled.

Then on to XC. He was like Tigger on acid in the warm up. Jogging everywhere and not listening. Took him to the start box and he turned into Eeyore. 🤦🏻‍♀️

Run out at no 2 and a few interesting lines. Then another stop on the smallest fence on the course. Still we completed. We came home with a cricket score but I don’t care.

It’s been a long time since we did an ODE. I’m chuffed with us today.

Back to school

Buddy and I had our first dressage lesson of 2021. And a new venue to boot. The Buddymobile was back in action as we headed over to Emily’s

Pleased to say that the work we’ve been doing during lockdown has paid off as we’d made progress since our last lesson with Emily.

Couple of feral moments, so good to work through. Mostly due to a white peacock. Buddy wasn’t totally sure what to make of him. I thought he was pretty stunning.