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Newbies Taking the Plunge

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  • #21
    Wahhhhhooooo
    It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by MegBackInSaddle View Post
      So today was our combined trial. And...we won our division! There were only 5 of us total in the division (adults Entry level/2'9"). We placed 4th out of five in dressage. Not even disappointed. Most of the judge's comments were about tension. Winnie isn't the most relaxed mare, and I'm sure I gave her some of my nerves today. Good learning experience.

      But my little mare just SHINED in the jumping ring! She takes such good care of me. Never questioned the skinny barrels that caused a few refusals for others. Never questioned anything, in fact, just gave me everything I asked for! Went clear and won the jumping by enough to win our division.

      More importantly, we had a ton of fun, and she behaved SO WELL for the entire day! She didn't call out to another horse even once, was happy to stand in her trailer munching hay, graciously accepted pats and love from various people (she's not a huge fan of touch in general). Even gave a pony ride at one point, AND ponied a strange mare for a few minutes (a rider in the jumping ring crashed a fence, and when a fellow rider hopped off to assist, I ponied her mare around until she got back).

      Could NOT be any more proud of my girl!
      That's fantastic Meg. Yay.
      It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #23
        Thanks SuzieQNutter! It was a really fun day. Really looking forward to our full trial July 13-14. And stressing about relaxing, lol! Not really. Just going to work on the flat between now and then. I could probably use a little more confidence XC, but Winnie's such a badass, I know all I have to do is point and believe, and she'll get me over safely. May not always be pretty, but no style points outside of dressage!

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        • #24
          Originally posted by MegBackInSaddle View Post
          Thanks SuzieQNutter! It was a really fun day. Really looking forward to our full trial July 13-14. And stressing about relaxing, lol! Not really. Just going to work on the flat between now and then. I could probably use a little more confidence XC, but Winnie's such a badass, I know all I have to do is point and believe, and she'll get me over safely. May not always be pretty, but no style points outside of dressage!
          I remember coming back in tears the first time I moved up. The fences looked so big and scary. The guy I was on was an ex b grade show jumper. Usually he pulled.

          The first 7 fences were in a zig zag. So quite a bit of distance and he stopped pulling. I virtually let him go. Picked him before a jump and let him go again.

          We overtook 2 riders and came home clear.

          Hopefully Winnie dies the same thing for you.
          It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #25
            So there were tears for me this weekend, after both XC and stadium. But they were tears of JOY! Our dressage is still a work in progress, but Winnie took our first XC course like she was born for it. I made a few mistakes (almost fell off by crossing a creek at a much faster rate than Winnie was crossing it, haha!), but she was amazing! And our stadium this afternoon...*sigh* I literally wouldn't change a stride of it! And I can usually find all kinds of things I want to fix.

            I feel like I have the cheat codes riding this mare. All she wants to do is work for me. Jumps that spooked others? No problem. And we took an inside turn in stadium that was nearly identical to one we took at a jumper clinic in April that made me fall off. (After jump 3.) I grinned like an idiot through both XC and stadium, cracking up a few of the jump judges in the field. Winnie just takes all the fear and nerves out and makes all of this so incredibly fun!

            We were in 24th place (out of 27) after dressage. We were in 13th after cross. And we moved up to 9th and got a ribbon and a spot in the victory parade after stadium.

            This weekend, I was the luckiest, happiest person on the planet!

            Our stadium: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-w0...w?usp=drivesdk

            Comment


            • #26
              That’s fantastic! Congratulations!

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              • #27
                Wonderful! And may the joy continue every time you ride together. One of the lovely things about eventing is that the horses have just as much fun as the humans. You can see it in their bright eyes.
                "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

                Comment


                • #28
                  MegBackInSaddle Your enthusiasm and sense of fun is infectious! On this end, silly grins as well just reading your posts! Well done and congratulations on your terrific partnership with your mare

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #29
                    FlaxenChestnut Thanks!

                    Willesdon Thanks, my Winnie has her trying moments, but she's mostly a joy fountain. So true about the horse enjoying it. Win isn't a huge fan of dressage, but point her at a jump, and she just sparks! Hubby attended the trials with me. He's not a horse person at all (has ridden 4 times in life, all with me), and he said, "Jeez, I think Winnie *really* likes jumping!" Even a city boy can see it.

                    Pocket Rocket Thanks! I keep cutting stills out of my videos where I'm grinning like a goofball. I send them to my sis (who GAVE me this amazing mare last summer) and we laugh and laugh at my stupid face.
                    Last edited by MegBackInSaddle; Jul. 15, 2019, 03:10 PM.

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                    • #30
                      I *love* your enthusiasm and love for your horse! Just found this thread and have been grinning straight through! Kick on and may you have many such times with your lovely Winnie!
                      Custom and semi-custom washable wool felt saddle pads!
                      http://www.etsy.com/shop/PellMellFeltPads

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                      • Original Poster

                        #31
                        Aww, thanks Grasshopper! I'm still on a high today from this past weekend! I keep watching my videos over and over, reliving those moments. It's so VIVID! Right before our last stadium jump, you can see me shake my head with a big smile on my face. I watch that, and I'm back in my head at that moment. "Holy $hit! How is this mare MINE?!? How is this really happening?"

                        Some more vids from cross and dressage.

                        https://drive.google.com/file/d/10d0...w?usp=drivesdk

                        https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-uV...w?usp=drivesdk

                        It's kind of grainy (sweet hubby was rushing around the course to get video for me and had to zoom way in ), but if you look closely, coming down the hill, you can see me pumping my right fist in the air. I could see my coach and teammates at the bottom of the hill, and I was telling them that THIS IS AWESOME!

                        https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-vA...w?usp=drivesdk

                        And...dressage. We're working on it.

                        https://drive.google.com/file/d/10ev...w?usp=drivesdk

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Wahoo.

                          You stayed on and in the arena to not be eliminated so that is a start.

                          Do you have an instructor for working on your dressage?
                          It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #33
                            Yeah, I have a great instructor. Believe it or not, we've made incredible progress! I'm stiff and have a case of the tries-too-hards. Winnie's sensitive and has a case of the let's-just-GOs. Not the ideal duo to be learning dressage with/from each other. Suppleness is a stretch for both of us. But when we jump, it's LIFE, it's breathing, so we'll play in the sand and "work on" relaxing together. And I can see it making us better jumping.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Your mare is lovely - watching your stadium round, it was a bit difficult from the angle to see which jump was coming up next at times, but then, there they were and she just flowed over them.

                              The good news with dressage is that until you get up to Training level or so, if you can produce an accurate, obedient test even if not particularly relaxed, you should still be able to pull some decent scores.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #35
                                Groom&Taxi thank you! She sure makes it fun! And jumping was always at least a little nerve wracking for me in the past. Winnie makes me forget to be nervous.

                                We have a lot of room for improvement in ways that are very possible to achieve. She's still a bit unsteady in contact and can work a lot more over her back. She gives it to me sometimes schooling, but only after kind if a long schooling session, and I didn't want to worker her too hard at the beginning of last weekend. Wasn't sure how her fitness would hold up. SILLY ME, she's a machine! People commented several times about how she wasn't sweating or puffing after both XC and stadium. Just a longer warm-up may gain us a point or two (or lose us a point or two...I don't know how you talk about this eventing stuff yet, haha!).

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Thanks for sharing your videos - you look like a lovely team! I would not have guessed that you were newbies!
                                  Was that the Entry Level dressage test you were doing? If it was, work on the free walk with a long rein (it has a double-coefficient, ‘stretchy’ work in dressage tests often does) and it will help you get those dressage scores up. Then you’ll really be cooking with gas ;-)

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #37
                                    Thanks FlaxenChestnut! We didn't feel like newbies! I wasn't even nervous for our first XC course. (Not like me at all.) We'd walked it the evening before, and none of the jumps looked terrifying. Coach doesn't believe in wasting your horse in the warm-up ring, so I'd pointed Win at each of the 3 warm-up jumps once...and I had exactly the horse I wanted underneath me. And stadium...two fences in, I forgot I was riding!

                                    Yes Entry test. Our walk is our most difficult gait. She hacks out nicely on a loose rein, but in the ring, once she's trotted, Win thinks walking is for chumps. I have been very happy that we managed to avoid trotting in both of our tests so far, but free it is not.

                                    We'll be doing mostly work on the flat, and as my seat continues to improve, hopefully I'll able to improve that walk. When she gives it to me, it's stellar! But accessing it is still problematic. Hey, gives us something to work on!

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Well, as you love the jumping, just remember that the dressage is all about improving your jump. A more adjustable and supple horse will be able to jump in better balance and rythmn and adjustability becomes increasingly important as you move up the levels. Try installing a verbal whooooh because that can be really, really useful xc
                                      "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #39
                                        Thanks Willesdon, excellent point. I still haven't jumped a tremendous amount, but I can already see improvement. And it's a challenge, which I enjoy. I've also been told that teaching herself to work over her back and carry herself better is very important for long-term soundness, and I'm hoping to have many more years of fun with this girl.

                                        I thought Winnie was going to be a psycho today. She was OVER the flies and tossing her head a ton on the ground. As a sensitive and opinionated mare, being OVER something can put her in an impossible frame of mind. But she schooled the BEST today! Super round, and pretty relaxed (by our standards). The heat and humidity may be partially to blame/thank, though. Didn't work long, since she was giving me everything I asked for.

                                        Comment

                                        • Original Poster

                                          #40
                                          Just registered for our second horse trials in a couple of weeks! Super excited, as XC is SOOOOO much fun with this mare, and she's been working so hard on the flat for me.

                                          Also, my hubby is a saint! I can't really afford another show yet, but I asked if he'd "sponsor" me, and he just said, "Sure, but I don't have to go pony camping with you again, do I?"
                                          Last edited by MegBackInSaddle; Jul. 29, 2019, 08:43 PM.

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