Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I have my reasons (III)

I had a whole post typed out on this one. I was explaining about competing one level Under what you are training on at home. A lot of competitors do this. Looking at it, it sounds like a bunch of whining. I don't often whine so I figured I would spare you all of that. Put on my big girl pants, suck it up and move on sunshine. I have plenty of good, hard, solid, steadfast reasons for not entering the CDE this year. I was telling a friend of mine about half of this and they said, "You've already talked me out of it..." So at this point, what more is there to really say?

I was looking forward to it, but the money spent on this one event will just go for other things. I am planning on hitting the ADT's this year and since I won't be competing at the CDE, I can still volunteer and help out. I can still be involved and pitch in. Support the club, lend a hand and cheer everyone else on. No harm in that.

If anyone is interested in volunteering at the event- let me know and I will put you in touch with the right people. I did it before several years ago and I was and still am, impressed. Things are organized, run smoothly, they treat you very well and appreciate your time. I still have the t-shirt from that event and remember it well. Now that I have competed at the event and been involved with the club, been to the organizing meetings and seen everything that goes on months prior, leading up to the day of... Holy cow! There is a lot that goes into it. I'm still looking forward to the CDE this year, I will still be there, it's just that my pony won't. 

That all being said, I drove him this weekend and it has been one of our best drives in a long time. He was soft, responsive and just as awesome as his little bad self could get. He didn't give me much resistance and when he did, he quickly changed his tune back to the best pony ever. I'm still not sure I have the dressage test memorized yet. I have looked at it a few times and got out and walked it once... We have worked on a few of the different aspects of it, but not repetitively or even in the same order. He shouldn't be anticipating anything or bored with any of it either. Come 'Game Day' though, who knows what will happen in the ring.

Friday, January 24, 2014

I have my reasons (Part II)

The marathon- The distance is greater, there are usually one or two more hazards (Including the WATER hazard) and the times allowed are different. Your times IN the hazards COUNT!

In all fairness to my pony, I question if we are ready for it this year. He has had all summer off, we only worked a few times and here we are a month and a half away and haven't really done squat yet. He handles the water like a pro now, between our work at home and all the water at the event last year, but he hasn't been in or near the hazard they use for it at all, ever.

Since they also may use the covered wagons hazard and it has covers on the wagons, I took him through it from all angles at the Darby. He had no problems with that, so I hope the gazebo in the water wouldn't be a problem either, but you never know, until you try it. We all know, once you try it, you have to finish it no matter what, no matter how, you have to finish it and hopefully on a good note...

Since we haven't done any real 'work', is he really in shape to be out there, cruising along for X kilometers, without any bad effects later on. Training Pony is usually 5-7 miles overall. Section's A and D (D is walk only) is the same for all horses. Section E is he hazards and where he excels. He tries harder, goes faster, pushes for more and really enjoys it. I know he will try his hardest, give me his best effort and just go and go and go. He definitely has a lot of heart and is Always willing to give it, but is it fair to ask that of him on short notice? I have seen a horse 'pulled out' of competition because the horse was done. I don't ever want to be that horse.

This one is a whiny excuse- I need to get serious if I am to be taken seriously out there. I don't have a stopwatch yet to help calculate our times out on the course. I use my goofy old glow in the dark skeleton watch I bought at K-mart after Halloween, like 17-18 years ago on clearance for like $3. I know, it's time to move on. I'm not a good 'gator to myself that way. Small pony entries don't require 'gators, so it's all up to me.

Last year on section A, I just couldn't seem to figure out where we were at on time. I couldn't see the horse ahead of us to use them as a 'marker' like we did the year before, sooooo I just let my pony run. We ran almost the entire section and only came in within the time allowed by 3 seconds because he balked at the end, didn't want to approach the person standing there and was walking, swerving back and forth like a dork. We were 3 seconds over the Minimum time allowed. We b.a.r.e.l.y. missed getting any time penalties there.

Monday, January 20, 2014

I have my reasons

I mentioned in the last post about having concerns as far as entering the CDE at Prelim level. Here's one of them. Let me know what you think. I will stretch this out over a few posts, as there is a lot to consider going into all of this.

Dressage- It is a different dressage test with different movements being asked for. I get that. I can handle that and I think he can too, since most of his misbehaving moments in the ring come from boredom. He is bored with the same patterns. Although we do not do any pattern work at home, it is always the same one in the ring and he knows it. He anticipates it. He reacts to it and not always with his best behavior. He is really smart and picks things up quickly. Sometimes a bit too quickly and the anticipation begins again.

Some of the movements I understand if explained in a different way. I had asked a friend of mine about the circles trotting on a loosened rein yet, not an extended trot. What I got back was a long and detailed explanation that made little to no sense to me until the very last couple of lines. "It's like long and low work in hunters. Riding on the buckle and letting the horse stretch out and down to the bit." I've ridden hunters and that makes sense. Now the question I have is, how to get it in driving when you cannot use your legs? That's another thing altogether for me. I'm sure there is a comparison out there that will put it into different terms that make sense. Until then, you may as well be speaking another language.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Where to start?

Dang. Almost halfway into the first month of the new year and I haven't posted anything yet or gotten to drive ponyman. Yay me, huh?

After getting all the feedback last year at the CDE from 3 very well respected opinions that I need to move up to Prelim, I am staring at my entry forms and doubting myself. We all do that as competitors, right? I have good reason, or so I would like to think. I am going to enter the upcoming ADT at Prelim and give it a whirl. I have decided that already. I can stay at Prelim or drop back down after the first one depending on how we do. There is ALWAYS room for improvement though, at Any level.

Prelim for the CDE? It is far more costly. A couple hundred bucks more costly. It is a different dressage test, more hazards on the marathon including a longer course and I'm just not sure we are ready for that yet. Cones have only been a problem in the fact of keeping him under control, getting him lined up and through them while leaving the balls intact. Prelim he would be allowed to run. I'm not sure that will be a good thing, but who knows. The marathon is my main concern with the dressage test a close second.

I will follow this post with a few more to explain everything. There is also another matter of a more personal nature that adds to all of this. Isn't there always? That's really the big deciding factor in all of this. I should know more in the next few weeks and be in a better position to decide about proceeding then. I have some time before the closing date for entries...