Next year will be different. I made it to one plateau. Theo is now a very confirmed low level dressage horse. He can hold his own right up to Second. Now it's time to see if he can make the jump to a mid-level dressage horse. Next year is not going to be about pretty ribbons. It's going to be a building year where I put in the miles on these more complicated tests. I need to practice my (non-existent) ring craft, Theo needs practice with holding himself up in that higher frame for a whole test. He needs an actual medium and maybe an approximation of an extension. We don't need to pay for rated competitions to do that. Any standard sized ring with a
I do expect to debut Third in 2020, but I expect it to be at schooling shows. I don't expect us to be ready to go into competition just yet. We might get confirmed enough to go do a couple one day shows late in the season and knock out our scores but I don't intend to do any overnight shows or big shows. Just little stuff, one test at a time, building up our confidence and experience.
We will be out doing the western dressage thing and moving up to Level 3. Not a lot, but a couple of local outings to support the discipline. If we have our flying change, we might even toy with Level 4. Will we go to the championships? Maybe. I'm not writing it off as our one away show of the season, but it's not really on the calendar. I'm going to have my hands full with training and I'm not sure if I want to add a three day show to the calendar when his counter canter might still be a bit busted.
There will be a third type of show on the calendar. Trainer D and I have been plotting out how to reintroduce Theo to the world of the h/j show without the drama of our last outing. I'm currently looking at taking him out in the modified adult eq (2'3") to make sure I can keep the lid on him before moving up to the adult eq classes (2'9"). I have zero expectations or goals with this, it's strictly for fun and helping Theo be a well rounded equine citizen. Trainer D has volunteered to take him around for some of those early rounds to help him build confidence. He's developed a good relationship with her and I think he'll take a lot of confidence from her calm, professional approach to the courses.
After 2019, I'm looking forward to a quiet year with minimal travel. I may have also committed to a crazy race in 2020 that will require me to be in serious run training through the summer so that will be a thing.
Margaritas, dinner with running friends, and online entries are a dangerous mix. Don't do it. You might end up registered for an ultramarathon.