Thursday 24 August 2017

Happy Near Year?

This last event marked the end of the big outings we had planned for this calendar year. There are still a few small, local, ones left on the calendar, but the goal type shows are over and done with for another year. As a result, this time of year feels, to me at least, like Horsey New Year. The show season is behind us, and now we're going to get back into more of a training and learning groove until early next spring, when our competition outings begin anew.

To recap our horsey calendar year, we had a great Fall 2016, then hit a pretty rough patch training wise this past winter. Spring brought some improvement in us both, but also a need for 2 new to us saddles and some budget constraints due to that. It also brought far too much rain, meaning most of our proposed outings were cancelled anyway. Then the weather decided to make up for all that wet and opted for record breaking heat and dryness all summer, meaning even more cancelled shows. My bank account still needed to recover from buying that tack anyway. 

And Midge. Like all good ponies, Midge does things on her own schedule. As for me, well, life. I admit to being distracted and while I've been consistent about putting the saddle time in, my efforts at improving just haven't been as focused as they were last year. Still we HAVE improved. We've improved hugely, just not in the results based/moving up the levels way I had originally set out as goals. 

But you know what? I really have very few regrets about how things have played out. We made it to our interior BC eventing camp in the spring, we made it to a combined test, a second XC clinic, a multi day dressage show, and most recently, a 'proper' event in the city. We even fit in local dressage and hunter/jumper shows - not bad for being very limited by scheduling and finances.

Showing a level or two or three (lol) below what we school at home has been huge for me. Our biggest problem at shows has been my nerves, so just going to shows where I really truly don't worry at all about fence heights or dressage tests or moving up has been great for my confidence. I can ride in the moment, think through what I'm doing and make appropriate adjustments. Weird stuff can happen and I can handle it. We've had some great show results this year, and that's also been huge for me. As an adult who didn't show at anything beyond local level or have regular coaching until recently, I've been feeling like I really don't belong and pretty overwhelmed at the bigger shows. I still feel that way at times, but looking around and knowing we've competitive against some really nice pairs has made me feel a bit more like we're actually, just maybe, right where we need to be and not just freakishly lucky sometimes :)

Moving forward, we train and learn as much as we can. We plan for next season. We're still working hard on that counter canter. I need to up my game on left lead transitions. We'll keep working on reliably unlocking her neck and back when she's tense/we're in a show environment. Also, keep enforcing that she has to go to work in the show arena, just as she does at home. I'm going to keep riding other horses as much as possible, and keep working away on my jump position and confidence. We're still exploring breeding options for Midge in spring 2018. I still feel like dressage is not her true happy place, but I'm confident that we keep enough variety in her routine (we still have jump lessons, fitness rides, hacks, and vaulting too every week) to keep her interested for another season before she hopefully gets a time out to be a baby mama.

On our schedule next: Dressage % Day Sept 23. (local club show)



  1. Replies
    1. Considering it's felt a bit...crappy most of the time, I'm happy with our salvage efforts!

  2. and you were NOT eaten by a bear so hubba hubba, win win!! It was a great year for you you should be proud!! Here is to next year!! (happy new year to you!!) :)

    1. Yes, 'surviving' that was definitely highlight #1 of our show season :)

  3. Happy new year! My show year is just beginning since I missed all of the spring season :(

  4. You guys really did fantastic for a year that sounds like it felt tough. I can't wait to continue to hear where you guys go next :)

  5. It's been so fun following you and the ponies this year. Good luck at the dressage show September!

  6. You guys have had such a wonderful year - lots of ups and downs but so much learning and progress!

  7. It feels so weird to be done with the season (I am too) but as you said it does give you more time to practice and plan