I am TWO DAYS out from Virginia Horse Trials aka Justin’s first Prelim, and I’m oddly calm.
Last week, I mentioned that Justin had become extremely rank in our cross-country school. Thinking his pony brain may have been fried from his increased workload lately. I did as I planned, and let him have a day off and then a light day. Thankfully, that seemed to work.
He came out at the schooling show this weekend at Morningside ready to go! Despite the awful weather, he was moving really well on the flat. He was very rideable in the ring. Our current focus with Justin is to ask more of him in every step, and he definitely felt more engaged than our last test at Plantation. He scored a 38.19, which I’m very happy with considering we usually are in the low-mid 30’s when we do a training level test.
Plus, I remembered my WHOLE dressage test. Which is a miracle on its own.
I was also really pleased with my show jumping. The jumped looked so big, and that combined with nerves made me unsure of how we would perform, but he was a superstar. He didn’t knock any rails – even when I botched the one stride in-and-out. Again, he is a saint almost always.
This was a super outing to prepare for our Preliminary move up at Virginia Horse Trials this weekend. Justin made all the distances between fences, which is a huge accomplishment for us. It’s hard to make an in-and-out set up for a 12′ stride when we really prefer the 9′ stride… #PonyPower.
I learned a few things:
- I can remember Prelim Test A
- A whole course of bigger jumps like this is enough to back Justin off a bit, so more leg.
- Justin historically has over jumped a bit when he gets nervous, and although he doesn’t do it as dramatically as he used to (see below)… doing it even a little at this height is enough to affect my balance in the saddle.
- Don’t pull going to the fence! This is one I’ve been told in every jump lesson for the last three years, but yeah. More leg, less hands, y’all.
The goal this weekend is to finish on a number and not a letter. I am so excited my mom will be coming up to help me ride and work. We’ll head to the Virginia Horse Center on Thursday. Fingers crossed!