So….yeah. That didn’t go according to plan. But you know what? It all boiled down to a wrong decision I made on Saturday compounded by a few things Sunday and well, I can fix that easily enough.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed because I am. Who wants to be eliminated at the first fence of cross country? Eeyore was a good honest boy though and I’m proud of him for what he did and I know we can tweak some things and come back and try again.
The original plan was for Trainer AB to meet me at the show around 8 am Sunday morning. We’d do a xc school while the course was still available and then she’d help me during the show. Unfortunately she realized the next day that she already had some lessons scheduled on Sunday and wouldn’t be able to make the show. Which was fine. It was very last minute planning.
We discussed the best plan B. The working data we had was that he had been a psycho the day before and morning of Jumping Branch and it had taken nearly an hour to get him listening and still he blew through me for most of the dressage and stadium. That was after a pre ride the day before and another one the morning of. Add to that the fact that every single ride since then has been dedicated to slowing his roll. Then add to that the fact he had been inside the prior 24 hours due to the freezing rain conditions and well we both thought it wouldn’t be terrible if Trainer AB came to my place Saturday to ride him. Get him off his forehand a bit. Get him tuned back in. Wear him out a little.
She worked on flat work for about an hour and came away with a ton of good advice, tips and future ideas. It was a great experience for all. Except…..
Sunday morning Eeyore was exhausted and muscle sore. I never would have guessed it but I suppose she had him really working his butt and abs and he had earned those sore muscles. He was malleable and easy to ride at the show but I had zero horse under me the entire day. He was half asleep and sore and then I made some more wrong decisions.
The xc course was still open when I pulled in at 830am but when I checked in I was told I needed a grounds person which I didn’t have. Dusty and the kiddos were coming closer to my ride time, so I spent the extra time walking my courses a few times and getting the lay of the land. It was a really chill atmosphere with only maybe 20-30 or so riders the entire day and a lot of room to warm up.
Since I hadn’t gotten the xc school in I had planned, and still working off my prior experiences with him where it usually takes a solid 40 minutes to get him to stop breaking into a canter and chill out, I got on him to warm up at 1130 for a 1237 start time.
Yeah. Not a good idea.
I worked him w/t/c at large and on a 20 m circle until he relaxed and was listening both directions and then looked at my watch and it was 12. Womp.
He was done. More than done in fact. I hopped off him and chilled by the dressage court until they told me I could go early at which point I mounted again, did a few more trot/canter/trot transitions to make sure he was tuned in and then headed into the dressage ring 15 minutes before my scheduled time with an easy to ride horse under me who was running on 1/4 tank of gas at this point.
I felt bad knowing he was over worked from the day before and my insanely long warm up ride. Nothing I could do at that point though except enter at A and get going with the day.