The stars finally aligned Wednesday evening for a lesson. There are way too many things to say and I want to spend more time on writing it up, so in the meantime I’m going to focus on her opinions of the CT.
Poor Trainer. As soon as she walked over to me she got hit with a tsunami of verbal diarrhea followed by getting a phone shoved in her hands so she could watch the videos. She took it all in stride though which is why I love her.
Basically, she praised us both for getting the job done and doing well. She thought Gem looked very relaxed and ride-able throughout. In dressage, she really didn’t have a lot of comments aside from what the judge had already told us: decent test, needs bend. She understands more of where we are coming from and what we are working on, so she watched the video and knew it was about as good of a test as we can put in right now.
She did laugh at my jump video specifically when Gem walked over the two scariest jumps on course: the train and butterfly planks. Her own horse went preliminary in their summer HT last weekend and looked hard at that train, so she finally knew what I was talking about! She thought I rode pretty smart for what I am comfortable doing and did remark that I need to relax a lot more and just let Gem get the job done. More leg!! More looking up!! More go!!!
For Gem’s part, Trainer commented that she really likes that Gem is the exact same horse on both sides of the fence: she doesn’t rush before or after. While my steering was a bit odd looking, Trainer liked how I was able to move Gem onto a chosen line and that she didn’t fight me or spook and for my part, that I actual rode with a chosen line and stuck to it.
Overall, she was really pleased with the outing and thought we had earned our 4th place ribbon. Lots to work on and improve, too.
After she watched it and Gem was all tacked up, I started talking to her about my short and longer term goals. She was a bit hesitant when I started talking about what I wanted to do from here. I think she was a little scared I was going to go all nuts on her with big lofty competition goals, but I am practical at heart and once she heard my plans she was 100% on board with it all.
Now that she is in agreement, I can share on here in writing for the universe to laugh at. Eventing is definitely something I want to continue to pursue as long as Gem agrees to go along with it. There is a nice, beginner friendly HT we are going to shoot for in November. Trainer has agreed to take us xc schooling in July and August to see where we are at with solid obstacles. Honestly, the fences aren’t what scare me at the 18″ height on xc. It is the big open spaces between the jumps where Gem can get squirrely that terrifies me. If those schoolings go well, we can set our eyes on the amobea level schooling HT in November!
After that, my bigger goal is to work really hard on our canter this fall and winter so we can come out at the tadpole level next summer. I’d like to return to FGF CT next June at tadpole which is a BN dressage test and 2’3″ stadium. Trainer thought that was doable. While stadium had more questions than I had been prepared for, it was an open and inviting stadium course and really friendly atmosphere, so a move up there would be really nice. Plus I already will know the lay of the land, so one stress would be removed. I’m excited to have a goal to work towards and I think we could handle 2’3″ with some hard work and dedication.