Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Otter Creek Fall

Otter Creek is by far my favorite show. Everyone is so nice, the facility's are all top-notch, the jumps are all immaculately built... and the party ain't bad either! Zahra continues to improve, adding only a little time to an unnecessarily tense dressage test. The comments were good, and basically promised better scores if only the horse wouldn't buck so much...

We have a schooling show this weekend, so we'll be getting into the sandbox TWICE to practice some ring craft, as well as a trip around the showjumping ring!

Stay tuned, Richland and Otter photos coming soon... :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Last Janet Foy Clinic of the Season

I guess Fall really is coming. Janet Foy, international FEI "I" judge, will not be coming back to our barn until 2013, so the season is already beginning to come to a close.

I rode with Janet four times this year, just once for the first three clinics, and then twice this last weekend. Riding with her was a great way to "check our temperature" to see whether or not we were on track. And if we weren't, she would steer us back and leave us with good homework for the next time. It was Janet who told me it was time to start cracking down on Zahra back in July, saying "You can't think of her as a baby. Unless maybe a baby crocodile." HA! So true! This weekends big take away message: "This horse has quite the ego. So every ride, you need to feed that ego, so the next ride she feels confident she can do it again." This is something I almost take for granted in my jump schools, but need to remember on the flat as well.

Saturday evening, I got the chance to help Caryn show off her wonderful green-broke triplets to Janet and a crowd of some two dozen WDCTA members. In the interest of time, I only rode one, Zisa, but she really was the rockstar of the night!! She seemed to thrive with the crowd atmosphere.  I was so proud! She is going to LOVE the show ring!!

Earlier this year, Janet published a book, "Dressage for the (Not So) Perfect Horse." I've been reading through my copy between clinics, and I think it should be required reading for all eventers, since none of us ever have owned or ever will own a perfect dressage horse!!! That's just the nature of our sport! We're here to run and jump, but we'd like to give away as few points as possible right from the start. There was a subheading to one of her chapters that has really, not only defined my training with Zahra so far, but also kept me sane when it would seem easier to give up:  "Every new evasion is a sign your training is progressing."

Thank you Janet!!