Sunday, May 29, 2011

"Look at the trees beyond the fence!"

I was watching a jumper lesson the other day and an amateur was having some fear issues with the fences. On the approach, she would look down at the jump and worry about the fence itself, and subsequently the horse would either run-out or stop. The instructor had her look up at the trees beyond and ride the line, focusing on keeping the horse straight and keeping her leg on. This simple instruction had the effect of getting the rider to keep the horse on the aids and in front of the leg, rather than allowing the horse to suck back or deviate laterally. Rather than focusing on what she wasn't sure she could do (get over the scary fence), it made the rider think about what she could do (keep the horse straight and forward).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

No Woodside CDI :(

Due to the recent outbreak of EHV-1, I decided against attending the Woodside CDI*. I first heard of the outbreak Sunday afternoon, and I was supposed to leave for CA on about tight timing! After talking with my vets and doing extensive research online, I decided it would be prudent to stay home and sit this one out.
This show was to be Victor's first CDI, and I was really looking forward to showing both boys (Victor and Escorial) under Hilda and the rest of the CDI judging panel...the standards really are different at the CDI level. But there are always other shows.
At this point it looks like the Central Oregon Classic in Bend, OR, is my next show (where, ironically enough, Hilda is also judging). I have all 3 (!) FEI horses entered. I am debating about attending another CDI but haven't made any final decisions yet.
At least it stopped snowing here!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

ID Festival Re-cap

Last weekend was our area's first big dressage show of the year (one of the few). Victor make his successful come-back after a year long layup to score 64+% in the PSG on Saturday and 65.7% in the Developing Horse class on Sunday. The PSG was much better balanced and organized than the Developing Horse test (which was a bit more messy and had several mistakes), but the judges saw him a little differently.
The big surprise to everyone (not necessarily me) was that Majek beat Victor in both classes! Majek (at 8 years old, and only did Third level last year) won the (fairly large) PSG class with 66.7% on Saturday and scored another 66+% on Sunday in the Developing Horse test. He learned alot about the PSG level in California this year, although we didn't show very well down there I was able to work through his issues and figure out how to best prepare and put together a solid PSG ride. So although Victor has more flamboyance, elasticity, and scope, Majek was able to beat him on consistency, balance and better use of the hind legs.
The young horse Bolero is also becoming a solid show horse, this weekend I warmed up without lunging and he was quite settled and focused. We had some spooking (particularly on Friday and in my first test), but the preparation work I did at home really paid off. He scored 65, 66 and 68+ in his three outings at Training level. This week he learned how to do canter-walk transitions, they were amazingly easy when I got that HUGE canter balanced.
The clients also had a good show, it had its ups and downs (per usual). Some really good rides that exceeded expectations, and some difficult rides that make you want to take up knitting. :) The show was LONG, however, and really exhausting. Nothing like riding at 8:30pm and then getting up at 4:30am the following morning for your 7am ride. Ick!