May 22, 2017

Making the Jump and Summer Plans

Connor and I are turning the corner into the abyss that is the land between First and Second.  First is starting to feel easier, but we have a lot of work to put in before we'll be ready for Second.

A lot of things have happened that have allowed my trainer to start asking us for harder work lately, not the least of which being I am actually remembering to sit up, use my core, and ride with appropriately short reins more often than I forget these days.  It's made an enormous difference.

Photo by Paul Wood Photography
When I get the Pixio video from last week, I'll go into more detail about what we're working on lately, but basically, the work is getting a lot harder for both of us.

Photo by Paul Wood Photography
This means a few things:

- We take very frequent short full neck stretch breaks, because what we're asking him to do is hard and new.

- I am very much out of my comfort zone.  I am right back in that zone where I can feel what's wrong, but I don't always know if my response is the right answer.

- It's going to feel bad for a while, and that's okay.  My trainer was talking to me about this in my lesson the other night, making sure I understood that I can't give up or feel defeated if things feel bad as we start working on harder concepts, and that especially with Connor's need to sleep on new things, I need to give everything time.  Accept the small wins, but keep striving for the big breakthroughs.

Ok, so I sometimes still forget to shorten my reins.  Work in progress.

Photo by Paul wood Photography

So I've thought about where I want this summer to go.  This is what I'm thinking through the end of July:

June 10/11 IDS Classic: 1-2 on Saturday and 1-3 on Sunday.  This is 100% a dry run for the next show, which is...

July 6-9: National Dressage Pony Cup: 1-2 on Friday and 1-3 on Saturday.

And following that:
July 23 IDS Schooling Show: 2-1

The July show is my last chance to show 2nd Level at a schooling show at the HHP (home base) until October, so if I want to get a judge's opinion on our progress at 2nd at a non-rated show sometime before the very end of our show season, that is the best time to do it.  That gives me two months from tomorrow to work on it (easier than ever now that I can ride more than 4x a week!), and in the meantime, we'll keep riding the rated 1st train.


  1. National Dressage Pony Cup - so excited for you!!! We'll see you next at the July schooling show :) You and Connor will be pros at 2nd level in no time - those Castleberry Cobs are quick studies!

  2. So jealous of the Pony Cup!! I have always wanted to take Mystic but it is soooo far away. Plus they finally added "your not quite a pony (14.3 1/2) but also not a horse classes". 2nd 1 isn't bad. You can do it!

  3. Eee pony cup and second level! AWESOME!!!!

  4. Karen from contact once commented to me "Riding the Ugly" which is that area where you are in your stretch zone and you gotta just keep pushing through to get stronger, better and prettier. Definitely an apt description for the place between levels and as we move up.

    and yay pony cup, that should be really cute and exciting!

  5. I was playing around with the idea of doing the open show at KDA (with Pony Cup. Obviously not in the pony classes. Do you think anyone would notice). Maybe we could share a hotel?

  6. That is so so cool that you're going to be at pony cup!! I'd so love to make it again this year but I'm not sure if I will or not. I got a discount on an airline from my recent trip but unfortunately that airline doesn't fly to KY or anywhere nearby :( I'll be cheering for you from here for sure though! Also huge congrats on the move up to 2nd level!!! I'm so excited for you.

  7. Second level is a hard level to crack. I love the photos of you - you look great.