Two Years

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A friend sent me this over the weekend. It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since Foster and I’s last outing, a clinic where we aimed to get around our first Training level showjumping course.

onestride

While it wasn’t without its blips, I’m still pretty effing proud of having at least done this with Fosterpants, despite nearly peeing my pants in the process. (Two one-stride combinations, max height/width fences, and a horse without a motor- I shudder to think of it still!)

firstoxer

This was also the one of the few clinics I did with Foster, and I think I learned more from it than any other clinic I’ve done before- those lessons still stick with me today.

Because this makes me happy, I will reuse it for eternity

Because this makes me happy, I will reuse it for eternity

Part of me is also a little sad that the only “competition” I’ve done between now and then is the little GaG CT I did with Smitty back in October. Of course when it comes to horses there is no such thing as plans written in ink, but somehow I imagined having done just a bit more over the last 24 months. How on earth have I kept this blog going otherwise?

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Still, one day I hope to get back there, jumping all the things, even if I have to convince myself not to be a total weenie in the process.

clinic canter

It’s all about the journey, right?

A time when I had bigger balls. Kind of. Actually I remember being terrified walking that course.

2015 Goals

It’s now January 2015, which means a theoretical new start, and new resolutions and goals to be made. Some of the below list should be completely do-able, others, a little more dreamy but possible if luck stays with us and we’re dedicated to the effort. Here’s our list of hopeful accomplishments for the year!

For the Horse:

  • Here’s the big one! Move up to Training!
    Aiming for a May unrecognized horse trials at CHP. By then I hope we can come to grips with jumping more consistently again (boo daylight savings time) and hopefully have some Training CT’s under our belt. Date may move because, well, horses.
  • Increase strength in haunches
    Cavaletti work here we come.
  • Walk-Canter-Walk transitions
    which hopefully leads to….
  • Lead changes?
    Maybe! But it also leads to…
  • Completing a Second Level dressage test with a score over 63%
    A lofty goal for sure, but might be possible by the end of the year, if our schedule works out.
  • Get a 7 on a lengthening
    Which is going to be hard for my pony.. but we’ll try!
Preparing for Training, I hope.

Preparing for Training, I hope.

For me:

  • Be a better competitor
    By this I mean, get to the damn warm up ring with plenty of time, get to the start box with at least 1 minute to spare, put together a first-aid kit just for shows
  • Stop over-thinking the distance
    I’m irritating the you-know-what out of myself for overanalyzing the spot- looking forward to hopefully not doing this so much in 2015
  • Stop overthinking people
    Let it go, let it go!
  • Insert annoying weight-loss resolution here!
    I’ve got a beach vacation in February (hopefully) and a sexy bridesmaid dress in April- motivation!

Frozen4

For the House:

  • Granite countertops in the kitchen!!
    Please happen! Because I’m. So. Excited.
  • Aerate + seed front and back yard
    So we’re not the worst lawn in the neighborhood
  • Paint upstairs hallway
    Because red wine stains are not the color-du-jour
  • Paint the NC State Room
    Let’s face it, the Carolina room should never have gotten that much of a lead.
  • Be better about blogging about the house!
    Since 2 posts a year kind of makes the blog’s title a joke.
Better grass for Drake, please.

Better grass for Drake, please.

Happy 2015 to all, and may you accomplish all you set out to do this year!

Good [Cross Country] Times

This weekend I had the opportunity for a fun cross country school at Running Start. The day was a semi-casual opportunity to play with some Training stuff and just have fun. Even better, Ali was able to video and capture some gems on tape!

My plan is to put together all the clips and do a bit of editing, but since I haven’t gotten around to that yet, I thought it might be just as entertaining in the interim to make a few gif’s of the better moments.

Not that all the better moments meant stellar riding, like when this happened:

almost-fall

Though they weren’t all disastrous, I promise, and Foster was mostly, if anything, a little overconfident…

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Seriously, I don’t think these water jumps are going to be a problem!

From a different angle, and his first attempt

From a different angle, and his first attempt

Superman!

Superman!

Foster did his first corner!

cornerAnd we had a blast just working on our gallop!

gallop

Will get the video together soon!

Getting desperate

For a lesson, that is. I feel like I’m at a point in Foster’s training where I’m chasing my tail. Instead of progressing forward, I’m routinely checking in and picking at tiny nuances that are appropriate for the level we’re at. Case in point- I’ve been meaning to work on lengthenings ALL YEAR. Have we? Nope!

Getting Foster ready for another lengthening-less ride

Getting Foster ready for another lengthening-less ride

So I’m ready for a lesson. Many lessons, in fact. Even if it’s temporary, I would like to start some kind of program where we are pushed to work on things outside our comfort zone. Like jumping combinations, and lengthenings. How the fritz am I supposed to move up to Training if we aren’t even practicing Training level things? Corners, coffins, triple combinations… I mean hello?! Wake up Britt and smell the sawdust- it ain’t happening at this rate.

Mane is show ready finally, with no show in sight

Mane is show ready finally, with no show in sight

In an effort to get on the right track, I have a dressage lesson scheduled for Saturday morning. It’s been since December when I last saw Eliza, and I am very curious to see what she thinks of where we are now. And I am a little ashamed of not progressing much in the last 6 months. I guess craptastic weather + traveling + new barn + weight loss + mystery swelling are excuses, but still…

Also, my horse is a dirty pig. Another good excuse for not lessoning?

Also, my horse is a dirty pig. Another good excuse for not lessoning?

But I did say *many* lessons. And since 1 lesson does not many lessons make, I am on the hunt for what to do. Since I am gone every weekend in August (that’s right, every. weekend.), trailering out to our regular lesson place is not an option. So, I may be looking to what’s available at my current barn. Lots of trainers come in for various boarders, and I’ve just got to choose who to ask. But herein lies a question- is a lesson a good thing no matter what, or does it really matter who the trainer is? When you are desperate for feedback, does it matter who the eyeballs belong to? What do you guys think? How do you decide?