Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lesson / Show Season Prep


Due to circumstances beyond my control, Werther had a mini vacation and got the last three days off work. I could tell he was fresh when I brought him in the ring so I put him on the lunge line for a few minutes before minutes. Werther didn't buck, but he trotted around like the energizer bunny. When Werther settled at the one direction, I had him go the other way and he didn't seem too ambitious anymore so I hopped on after just a few minutes. I'm much better getting him round in his back know and on the bit, I think that piece has finally clicked in. The next big challenge is my position. I'm getting much better about having a following hand, my biggest challenge is sitting further back and deep. My leg also needs to stay straight and forward because I am so short, if it moves back, I touch the saddle pad, which makes me pretty ineffective. I'm still trying to figure out my post in the dressage saddle, I keep getting bounced on the incorrect diagonal and because my right side is so much stronger, a lot of the time I don't notice. Sarah says I need to sit deeper when I post, I hope that helps. We worked on the canter transition, I have the bad habit of pitching my body forward in an effort to make Werther go forward and he uses my vulnerability in that position to root. I need to figure out sitting back and still allowing enough with my hand that I don't catch Werther in the mouth. I think I just need time to figure this out, I feel a little rushed in my lesson sometimes, I think just a lot of practice will help. Sarah did give me a glimmer of hope today, she made a comment that I need to get him more responsive to my leg if we are going to do tempi changes, and the fact that she thinks I can get to the level to attempt tempis is huge for me. I try really hard to do what I can, and I love to compete, but at the same time there is this frustration when your body limits you from moving foreword.  I'm considering getting a disability dispensation, looking at the classification, I think I would qualify for the Para Equestrian classes at Grade IV. Another thing I talked with Sarah about today, she said horses get hotter as they more up the levels, the need to be to compete at that level. I worry too much about things yet to come, but I really do hope I can get to that upper level and some point and I'm not shut out, because I can't handle a hot horse.

Show Prep
Along the lines worrying too much, kind of having a mini-panic attack! I have two months to prep for the  show season. I got my new girth and my Mattes fleece pad, Of my list of things to do, I got my letters up (need to fix two), me registered, and I'm working on getting Werther's papers transfered. I went to the eye doctor so I can get glasses I can show in, and as soon as I finish this blog I am ordering the levels DVD. My next dover order is going to be a new whip for showing, new stirrup pads and a grab strap. Working on the test memorization, I got the book "Dressage A to X" the 20 m circle of life recommended. It is very helpful, I'm about half way though reading and just got to the chapter on test memorization strategies. Sarah sent me the show schedule which is the following:
May 9-10

Mayflower I and II (two days, two shows)

Otter Creek in Wheeler, WI

Closing Date: April 28

May 23-24

Bara Trac I and I-too (two days, two shows)

Mason City, IA

Closing date: May 4

June 6-7

St. Croix Classic

Lake Elmo, MN

Closing Date: May 19

Note: They chose this one because it is usually a VERY quiet show, not many

people go to it for some reason, AND Brightenwood needs to support Nancy Porter

at at least one of her shows.... and this fits in the schedule as at least an


June 27-28

Dressage Lite and Lite-too (two days, two shows)

Mason City, IA

Closing Date: June 4

**Parkside is an option IF anyone wants another chance at getting qualifying

scores, but the whole group does not intend on going, mostly because the new

management probably won't grant B-wood the favor of giving us the REALLY NICE

stabling location. They only had that stabling for us as a special favor last

year. The other stabling is just too far for the old ladies to walk ;) Plus,

it's only a week after the Mason City show. That's pretty tight.

July 4-5


Alpine Farm

Closing Date: June 12

July 31, Aug 1-2

Bara Trac II and II-too (three days, two shows)

Mason City, IA

Closing Date: July 10

**B-wood does not intend to go to any of the August shows (ie., Otter Creek,

Northern Lights, etc.) because qualifying scores are due by AUGUST 6. Any

scores obtained at those shows can, however, be rolled over as qualifying

scores for NEXT year.

Sept. 4, 5, 6

Region 4 Championships

Mason City, IA

Closing date: Aug 6

Sept 19-20

CSDEA Fall Festival

Lake Elmo, MN

Closing Date: Aug 31

**Scores obtained at this show can roll over to qualifying scores for NEXT


Seems pretty reasonable, but what I am panicking about is what she wrote in the top of email. She says she will be showing two horses and will only be coaching as time allows! Is this normal for Dressage? She didn't mention anything in her email about paying for coaching which I would be more than happy to do. I know you can't be at the ring, but I would like to have someone help me with my warm up. I'm going to talk with my Mom tomorrow and see what she thinks, also going to ask Sarah about possibly getting some help from Cathy, the head trainer and Brightenwood, if Sarah can't do it. 


Nina said...

Wow you will be very busy with all those competitions!!!!! Sounds like you and Werther are really coming along with your training. Well done. It is a great feeling when things start to come together!

Julie said...

Good luck with all of those shows..slow down and relax and enjoy your beautiful horse!!!

Ellie said...

I will, this is actually pretty conservative for me compared to my normal hunter shows. Plus all the shows are under 3 hours away so werther gets to spend most his summer at home, going on lots of trail rides!