This is a very bittersweet post that has been long overdue. As many of you know, horses never follow their plans. Were lucky if we get to plan c, because we all know that plan A is 99% likely to NOT happen. Well plan A, B, C, D, who knows even E and F didn't work out for me this spring. After two disappointing showjump rounds at Southern Pines and The Fork, I decided that I need to do some homework and figure out what is going on with Murphy's showjumping. Falling off is never fun, but I think it has taught me a lot. There is always going to be another CCI and I just need to do what is best for my horse and give him the confidence he needs again. So unfortunately we didn't go to the CCI** at Florida.
These last couple weeks, I have watched hours of video footage of my riding over the past year or so. Video tapping is great, you should all try and video yourself at least every month or so because it can really be beneficial to go back and look at what is going on, what has changed, and what you can still be working on. I have found that my horse just seems less and less confident in the showjump ring. If I don't get him to a perfect distance, he will stop. I am human, with only one horse, so I will miss. His canter also seems to change in front of the jump and thus he is not 100% off the ground. My reins have also become increasing shorter and I need to remember that Murphy really needs to feel like he can use his neck. Soooo off I went to River Glenn in TN and had a really good confident weekend in the preliminary. After talking with my old coach, Matt Trynoski, he gave me some good advice and I have been working hard at home since. Murphy even won two 4ft jumper classes :)
Yesterday, I had a WONDERFUL jump school on the Smurfmister and he felt like my old horse. He was confident, I kept my reins longer while still having a lot of adjustability, and kept the canter even and rhythmical. I am hoping that over the next couple months we can put together all the pieces Bonnie has given me without the pressure of competing and hopefully we can start to be competitive again at Intermediate come fall. He is going to run Otter Creek horse trials at the end of May and we will go from there...
Until then, watch some videos, pat your ponies, and remember we only learn if we make mistakes.
"Be so good they can't ignore you" - Steve Martin