Riding in the rain

It seems another week has whizzed by and I still feel I'm one step behind! It's been a fairly dull week really, nothing out of the ordinary at all.

After our lesson on Saturday I had two really great rides on Sunday which was made even better by having the time to get both horses worked without rushing. For the first time I felt like Henry was truly in front of my leg and working into the contact. It was a great moment and I feel very important since now I know what it feels like it will (hopefully!) be easier to replicate.

On Tuesday my ride was terrible. I think I put a tonne of pressure on myself to get everything perfect for the weekend and rode badly as a result. I felt sorry for Henry because he didn't deserve a bad ride. I was thankful I clued onto myself fairly quickly and was able to change how I was going about things, but I still got off in a really bad headspace.

Wednesday I needed to jump before the weekend and the weather was perfect. I left work early and everything, and it ended up being the loveliest arvo! Henry was fantastic over the jumps, and I really worked hard on following with my hands. It's still a work in progress but I got there in the end, and was being really effective as a rider. Even better was the moments of flatwork we did in between.

I was mindful of my ride on Tuesday so toned the pressure on both of us way down and had a positive, effective ride as a result with moments of Henry going into the contact again. He was light on the aides too. Our transitions are coming along so well with Henry staying in self carriage and maintaining roundness.

This weekend we have 2 competitions! Saturday we have 2 dressage tests close to home. we are sticking with prelim and I just have to make sure I don't add in excess pressure in front of a judge. I need to remember to take my time and follow the process for everything.

Sunday we are going combined training at a club that is new to us. It is only a small competition but it will be good practice before Gidge and I am looking forward to a fun day out. I am hoping the double dose of dressage will be good for us, primarily me since I think I get tense when I am in the spotlight.

The weather is looking to be very kind to us too which will make it even better. Today is cold, wet and miserable so no riding. Tomorrow I think will end up being a bush ride day, then I have to plait. I was hoping to leave plaiting until Saturday but I have a commitment before dressage so Friday night it is! Then the usual float packing, gear cleaning, general life organising!

Someone pointed out to me on the weekend that Henry will be the most prepared horse ever for his eventing debut. I have mulled over that a little bit this week and I agree, he is prepared in every way I know how, and probably a lot more than many people would prepare a horse. I know people are surprised that I haven't had him out eventing sooner but I truly haven't felt him to be ready until now. Plus, by really putting all the work into him, he will have a solid start with (hopefully) no messiness that comes from really green horses. It will be good for both our confidence and gives us the very best chance at success. By taking my time now I am ensuring I have a horse with few holes in his training and a horse who will progress up the levels and stay sane and sound for as long as possible.

At the end of the day, I have to be happy to ride my horse in competitions and I'm not sorry I have taken so long. I don't have to justify this choice to anyone but myself. I know I have made the right choice for us both and I look forward to a stress free eventing debut!


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