Alas, our trip to Aiken has been called off. It's just too close to departure and with my job deciding to turn up the heat, I can't handle a scramble. More specifically, my ulcer can't handle a scramble. I'm sure if I really threw my heart into it I could find a way to get down there, but with work sapping my strength, I just don't have it in me to scramble like I will need to.
With that cross country schooling called off, I'm not setting high expectations for 2011. We have a jump-critique-jump on Sunday, and at my instructor's recommendation, we'll be going at Beginner Novice height. It will be a major factor in my decision as to whether or not we should try to enter Mystic this year. I love the event, but at the same time, the princess has never tried water. I don't want to over face her. There's a schooling two phase in April that I will definitely go to, and a schooling three phase in mid-May that I will be at, but the Mystic event is at the end of May. I have to send in my entry well ahead of knowing whether or not the princess can handle Beginner Novice cross country.
Maybe Mystic is not a good goal. Maybe another event can be her debut. Right now she's so ring sour that she doesn't even want to go in. Assuming the weather holds, we have a date to go trail riding with her boyfriend this weekend. The snow has finally melted enough that we can dare to go out. She's been a bit of a wench lately, and tonight she was just flat out unhappy. I swapped to my jumping tack which made her happier (which means the dressage saddle I have won't be going near her again), but she was definitely unhappy bending left. Last night she was fine, so I suspect she's sore from working so hard last night. She had a lot of energy yesterday so I was certainly putting her through her paces.
I have a new dressage saddle picked out, assuming it will work for her. Black Forest Saddlery has a treeless dressage saddle and I really want to try it. If the princess is happy, everyone is happy, and with the way she works in a bareback pad I have to think she would like going treeless for her flat work. Not for cross country or stadium, I need a tree for those, but dressage would be nice in a soft saddle that didn't need to be refitted. I had my dressage saddle fitted in December and in March it needs to be replaced, so I'm not fond of the idea of trees right now. Expensive little things.