Dressage Dreaming

As I sit at my desk "working" these days, I find myself dreaming about a Dressage show season, and not really thinking about eventing at all, despite Connor's jumping going really well these days.

There are a few reasons for that.  First, it feels like the sky's the limit with his Dressage.  My rides on my own have been improving under the new game plan, and his work in lessons continues to be awesome.  Combine that with the fact that it's even easier to get a good ride on him at shows, where he's amped up, and he is a LOT of fun to show in Dressage.

I turned him loose in the ring to play, and when he was done I walked over to him, petted him, and asked him to follow me all the way across the ring - and he did!

Second, there's that promise my husband made me that if I show Third, he'll buy me a new, custom, Dressage saddle, and yes, he knows what that costs.  His said "If I'm going to pay that much for non-road legal transportation, I at least want some bragging rights to go along with it."  So I need to at least show 3-1 at a schooling show someday, and I am not going into the ring for it until we're ready - as tempting as it is to get a 40% at a schooling show in order to get a custom saddle...I'm not that person.

How you get from the indoor to the barn when it's 15F: quarter sheet plus cooler

Third, we're limited in eventing.  His size will likely limit us to Training, and my brain will limit us to Training if we're lucky, but more realistically Novice.  That sh*t looks huge from the back of a pony!

We can get him less squirrely on XC with time and patience, but he's such a worrier, it almost feels cruel.  He needs to know everything is going to be perfect or else he's nervous to the base of the fence, and it takes him time to analyze the situation and feel comfortable enough to jump it.  I can give him the kind of security he needs in the Dressage and even jumper rings, but not on the XC course, where I need him to be brave and to use his "fifth leg" in less-than-perfect situations.  Sure we have never had a jump penalty on XC because he has springs for legs, but it isn't enough - he needs to be comfortable and confident too.

Everything looks bigger from a pony.

So, all that is to say, we're not giving up on eventing, we'll definitely school XC as much as we can and hit an event or two, but I won't be renewing my USEA or IEA memberships this year.  A year of Dressage and XC schools before revisiting the eventing scene in 2017 isn't the worst plan. With luck, our first Dressage show will be in less than a month from now!

19 comments:

  1. i definitely know what you mean about feeling like we'll max out height-wise before getting slowed down by the flat work... and i also tend to think jumping the same fence height over and over again can be kept interesting by different degrees of technicality or riding greener horses... whereas trotting big loopy figures in the sand box seems like it will get old really quickly after you get into the more rapid-fire, intricate movements of higher level dressage... all the same tho, i just can't get enough of that rush of galloping through the finish lines on xc... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you're saying, and I think I would have a hard time starting over in Dressage right now, but the stuff ahead of me looks so fun. And there is a "stuff way ahead of me" category of stuff to do in Dressage, where there isn't really in eventing.

      Delete
  2. We have similar goals - Bridget is beyond brave over fences, but not overly talented, and yes, anything over 2'9" or so feels huge on a pony! So, dressage it is :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like this plan. Eventing takes a special type of horse and if Connor isn't that horse right now, that's fine. Maybe he will be later. Maybe he won't. Glad you have other things to pursue for now! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I'm not going to shoehorn him into it because I want to do it. I feel like I've gotten to know him better the further we've gotten into Dressage, and he seems to enjoy the cerebral challenge and standard setting of Dressage, where he can ignore the stuff that normally spooks him for the duration of the ride and just listen to me (that's as close to anthropomorphizing as I'll get). I never get that relaxed-but-into-it sense on XC.

      Delete
  4. Dressage is fun! You guys will do great.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That's pretty darn good incentive to get to Third level if I do say so myself!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Noooooo kidding! Still can't believe he's serious. This from the guy who said he'd never spend a dollar on the horse.

      Delete
  6. Schooling shows don't go on anyone's record, so you TOTALLY need to go 3-1 and get that saddle. Obviously. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sounds like a great plan for this year!

    ReplyDelete
  8. eventing seems scarier and scarier these days...I like the dressage. Um plus SADDLE

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sometimes, you just gotta do the discipline that makes the pony happiest :) Tesla and I are still figuring that out :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a good man to give you that incentive! The cool thing about dressage is that once you start installing some more fun 'buttons' it becomes so addicting! I mean who doesn't want to ride a perfect half pass or do tempi changes across the diagonal?!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Joining the dressage dark side ;-)

    But seriously though, a custom saddle at third! What an amazing husband :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Everything looks SO much bigger on a pony - YES. Holy smokes, 2'7" BN still looks ginormous to me... It's a little embarrassing. I feel like I'm going to run into this same kind of crossroads with Maggie at some point, realistically we're very limited in jump height as well so a little career change could someday be in our future also. For now though, we're still testing the eventing waters. If it never works out there past at least trying a real recognized BN I won't be too sad - dressage will be great! Though admittedly we still have a lot to do in that department too ;)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I hear you on XC looking huge from the back of a pony! At this point, my pony is getting older and I don't have the guts I need to go past BN right now, so I'm not even worried about it! Perhaps with a younger pony I will get to N someday, but eventing is fun for me, and my pony loves it, so that's what we do! I love that you found the same experience in dressage - so awesome that you found a sport you can really succeed in together!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I switched to dressage because I can't be confident at jumping. And my horse is too honest to carry me around a course.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow, exciting about the saddle!! And I think you would be crazy not to focus on dressage with how good you guys are getting.. it's clear from your writing how exciting and fun it is when you guys have your big light bulb moments too.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP