Thursday, March 29, 2012

FEI jog and Vet inspection

I had a very good day today with the horses, everyone went very well in warm-up in the morning. We had to get started early because we had the vet inspection at the barns and the FEI jog at 3:30 in the afternoon. All three horses needed to get out and get ridden, then braided and cleaned up for the jog.

Monkey was first to go; I was on him around 8am. We still had a marine layer over San Juan, so it was a little cooler than it had been yesterday. He was very energetic and kind of spooky today. Everything worked well, the trot was good, the canter work was pretty solid (except he threw in a few ones in the tempis). However, he did get weirdly nervous in the CDI warm-up arena for some reason--he behaved, but felt very tense and worried. He calmed down somewhat after we finished.

I rode Victor next, he was fantastic. Super energetic and uphill, we worked on getting him a bit slower and more uphill in the canter in the mediums, then worked on getting the changes a little more through the back and less bracing. The trot work was super.

Majek was also very good, much more supple in his body today and very solid in the canter work. Changes were much better than yesterday and the pirouettes were quite good. We kept him on snaffle today (although I rode the other two on the double). He's been a bit difficult on the double the past month, initially I just rode him on it expecting him to get used to it. That didn't work, in fact he got worse, so the new tactic is to ride him on snaffle so he's confident then pull a last-minute-switch on him before the CDI. We'll see how that works.

Monkey and Victor passed the jog with no problem, but the judges made me re-jog Majek. I could by their expressions that they didn't like how he trotted; boy did I start getting nervous! At FEI competitions the jog can be a deal-breaker--if the judges think your horse is off at all, you can be excused and unable to participate in the show. The first time I trotted him he was super quiet and slow and wandering, the second time I made him go forward more. Thankfully in the end they passed him. Whew! One bullet dodged.

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