Thursday, March 22, 2012

Camp - Day 3 and 4

The Princess doing what she does best at shows.
Eating. And making a huge mess.

It's a constant reminder to myself that eventing isn't about getting somewhere, it's about the journey. It's about all of those little victories along the way that don't mean anything to anyone except yourself.

Wednesday was not a good day at the office. Fiona warmed up beautifully for dressage. She really is a different horse and my compliments go to my trainer for turning the green horse into a finished Novice horse on the flat. However, all of the training in the world doesn't help when I turn into an alien as soon as I'm in front of a judge. I'm perfectly willing to accept the fact that the score had more to do with my tension than anything. We got a 36, which is much improved from our scores last season, but still not what the princess deserved to get. She forgives me, though, which is why I adore her.

Our stadium was pretty much what would be expected after looking at the last video of her that was posted with my trainer in the saddle. We had to trot several sections and we got a rail. My trainer chewed on me a bit for letting her get fast, but it's hard not to in that type of setting. I was feeling very, very low after this. How had we gotten so far and then had the rug yanked out from underneath us? What happened to her being a Novice horse last fall?

Our cross country schooling went well, but one of our riders fell and we had to call an ambulance. Understandably, no one was really in the mood to continue after that. The good news is that she was actually fine, but we didn't know that at the time.

However, there is always tomorrow, and Thursday was much more positive. I had a dressage lesson in the morning, which concentrated on teaching me how to slouch so I can relax and really follow my horse. I knew when I got it right because Fiona would sigh and her neck would suddenly be a foot longer. My bracing is painful for more than one being involved in this partnership. Our cross country schooling was, in some ways, frustrating because again we are having to trot sections. Fiona is banned from doing flying lead changes while jumping until she can learn to behave herself. She has to trot her corners right now. On the other hand, we were doing solid Novice sized fences (some at the trot) and she felt very rideable. A little wild at times, but rateable. We only had one sketchy fence out of the whole ride, so I will take that.

Now it's ridiculously late and I'm off to bed to try to recover for the last day of camp. We are off to Hitchcock Woods, where I'm hoping the princess and I will get a chance to do the whole steeplechase loop. It's good to have goals, even when things are feeling this rocky.

The princess's first event for Area 1 is set for the UNH spring show with my trainer in the irons. I'll be dealing with school, so she can handle the princess for the weekend. Hopefully she can go back to being the rock star rather than the class spaz.

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