Friday, September 16, 2016

Show Prep

I kind of decided "last minute" (as in Tuesday during our scheduled jump school) that I would take the red dragon to one of the last schooling shows of the year before our *swallow* rated debut in November. This show is held at a venue that we've been to hundreds of times (me at least) and is pretty familiar to us, and its fun. The only thing that sucks is the impending storms of doom, so I hope those stay at bay.

B has been brilliant this week, starting with the flat ride that rocked my world and has continued to stay solid. I jumped twice, which by the time tomorrow rolls around is one more day than I like to jump per week, but he had had 6 days off and I kept the courses low (2'6) on Tuesday and then ramped it up yesterday to test him a little. I've been religious about rub-downs and liniment though and it seems to be making a difference.

As a small sidetone, I REALLY feel like B is finally growing up. I know winter will produce some shenanigans, always does, but his attitude has improved tremendously in the last few months. I even got 3 separate compliments yesterday from people at the barn commenting on how shiny and fit he looks. Score!

That aside, he's been great over jumps as well. Much less spooky and actually locking on to jumps instead of questioning them every time. I actually rode like a giant turd yesterday and I HATE when people say this, but he saved my butt a few times. Like, picked the distance and got us over when mahm forgot how to ride.

Not sure if my mental game is slightly off (wouldn't be surprising, given my personal life right now), or that I'm sore, or that my new half chaps from RW are actually the worst things I've ever ridden in. Either one of those could be the culprit. Seriously, I am done with RW. They never have what I want, the size or style and  the quality is poop, AND the shipping this time took 13 days to arrive, c'mon. I don;t know why all y'all have lady boners over RW, but I'll stick with Smartpak, thanks.

Digression aside, its weirdly reassuring to know I don't have to hold B's hand through everything now and I can "afford" to have bad days too.

I played with the same course both days, since I didn't feel like moving stuff around when I already had to mount and dismount to change heights and whatnot. Jumping alone sucks.

Jump 2, 5 and 12 was a super neat jump the barn mates set up on Tuesday that now LOVE and forever will keep in my arsenal. I was super proud of B for negotiating this weird jump the first time, jumping the skinny (5) and the big X (2,12) without question. Fence 1 & 13 also was kind of scary, in that the barrels were set quite close--making the horse legitimately jump through them instead of over them. He usually HATES barrels and tends to snort at them, but conceded to jumping without question with some mild prodding of the spurs.

Both days he was having a slight issue turning right too, but mostly because I was legit forgetting to use my outside leg appropriately in conjunction with half halts, and then we would both get in a weird heated lovers quarrel until I apologized and rode correctly. Still though, hoping there won't be any right handed rollbacks tomorrow, because we ain't gonna be quick about it.

Due to the small issues we were having turning right, I decided to add as many right turns as possible, and that helped. I played around with rating inbetween fences too; asking for major collection and then some gallops, like a jump-off would require. Boy has GOT it guys. He loves this shit.

After a few good rounds through yesterday, I decided it would be fun to play with height and see how handled it.

Minus me jumping for him by throwing myself forward (why am I like this) he was brilliant. I literally felt like he was barely trying and me raising the bar up and up didn't faze him one second. I really wanted to put the bar at 4ft, but resisted and kept max height at 3'9 since he had already schooled the course a few times.


I wish he wasn't so goddamn lazy with his lower legs at the higher height, but I am hoping eventually he will learn to snap those up. I was filming myself by propping my iPad on a jump standard, and then a barn mate came out and I swopped upon her demanding asking if she would video me please #doitforthegram

I probably should have asked her to stand a little closer, but at least its a pretty screenshot! Also because B is an actual giraffe and is like 9 ft tall, he completely dwarfs all fences, making everything look super unimpressive, but I double checked and that was definitely 3'9.

So that gave me hope. I still pee my pants a little thinking about jumping a 3'9 vertical (why, why are those more daunting than a wide oxer??) so that height in competition will come in time. However, 3'3-3'6 is totally doable next year and I am hoping to show more rated now that he's not *as* spooky. We absolutely need more experience, but this winter is FULL of indoor rated shows and I intend on showing in at least 1 per month until spring.

Also update, V had to scratch Yankee from Flying Cross because her ride fell through, whomp whomp.

Regardless, look for social media updates on the Red Dragon and myself this weekend


  1. It's just the best when they finally start to grow up! Best of luck at the show. (also, that oxer scares the crap out of me, give me a vertical any day)

  2. Count me in the same camp as you of people who are not impressed by RW. Good luck at the show!

  3. This just goes to show how far out of the loop I have fallen. What is RW?

    1. It's a company run by the same people who run Running Warehouse and Tennis Warehouse out of SLO, California. They have a limited selection of items (often also in limited sizes), but (in my opinion) make up for it in free shipping on orders of 50 and great customer service. If you want what they happen to have, it's great. If you want something they don't have or have to compromise on one of their products and end up disappointed (has happened to me), it's irritating.

  4. I also find verticals more intimidating than an oxer... it's a weird thing.

  5. Have fun at the show! Excited to see updates :)

  6. Hope you guys killed it at the show!

  7. Trust me those jumps still look super impressive!!!!! ;)


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