I blame my lack of employment for my over focus on all things showing related.
Ever have that moment when you read something and all of a sudden your thoughts just kind of pop into place? It's almost an audible 'thud'. I'm surprised no one heard me downstairs.
Heather over at The Graduated Equestrian replied to my post on a hunter division with "I'd always rather wish I'd done more than push for too much and miss my chance to go back to smaller stuff." Holy crap, I hadn't thought of that. It's a one and done thing. I can't go for the big division then back down like when I was eventing. Once I go over 2'6", I can't go back to 2'3" if it turns out my horse wasn't ready. I have to wait three seasons. How did I forget about that?
Also, I have a dressage horse. I don't have a hunter. I'm not cheating by doing a lower division regardless of what I did over a decade ago. I'm giving my dressage horse a fighting chance to cope with a world that's radically different than where he usually plays. I'm giving myself a fighting chance when I haven't worried about the striding of a line in over a decade. And he doesn't have a flying change. Let's all be honest, I'd be wasting my money trying to do an eq medal qualifier without a change. Even Trainer A gave me the 'wtf' blue screen of death look when I said adult eqs. Why would I do that?
That flying change isn't coming any time soon. We are currently sweating blood over the simple change through the walk. It really is a hard movement, I can see why it's something that really defines that jump to Second alongside sitting the trot. We had a 'come home to Jesus' ride about the canter-walk-canter transition on Saturday. It was time. He's been doing that transition all winter. The muscles are there, he knows how to do it, there's no excuse for being a lazy brat about it anymore. When I picked him up and said walk and he replied with 'hey, just a couple of trot steps, no biggie', I decided to have the conversation about how that's no longer allowed. Once he was going nicely and listening, I asked to canter. Then I halted his magnificent booty at X with extreme prejudice. If you can halt with a breath at the trot, you can do the same at the canter. Diving against my hands and dragging me into a sloppy trot is not acceptable. Wash, rinse, repeat. When I say whoa, I mean whoa, damn it. Once I had his attention, we did walk-canter-walk-canter until he was reliably stepping into the walk on both leads. Goodness, papi, it's not that hard.
Definitely time to take a breath, check my ego, and sign up for the division we need today, not the division I would have picked twelve years ago with a different horse.