-I can pretty much guess what we’ll be doing at Trainer B’s this Friday.
Which probably stems from this:
And while we eventually got it after multiple tries that day, my psyche was already damaged. Which I continue to relay to P 8 months later.
Stadium is officially the worst phase.
Out of the mouth of Trainer B. We get by when the jumps are small, but missing to 2’6″ is different than missing to 3′. Who woulda thought?
Now I had just taken P to our first jumper show this year and we cruised around 2’6″ and 2’9″, but the videos showed a much slower pace than I thought we had.
On our way to dinner the night before the horse trial, we all went out to dinner and Trainer B rode with me. As I was driving towards the restaurant, he goes, “How come you drive your truck so fast, but ride so slow?”
HA. HA. Maybe because my truck responds when I put my foot on the accelerator and doesn’t stop unless I choose to engage the brake?
Then later we were all sitting around outside the stalls and Trainer B says to Husband, “I’m going to Petsmart to get a shock collar to attach to P’s girth. Anytime I think she’s going too slow, I’m going to press the button. Cool?” To which Husband replied, “Yeah, man!” And then I laughed. And then Trainer B looked me dead in the eye and said, “Oh, you think I’m joking?”
Ummm, I actually can’t tell.
So. We rode fast the next day.
It wasn’t all bad.
Was it pretty? No. BUT. I didn’t micromanage him to fences. I didn’t freak out if I saw nothing or saw a wrong distance a few strides out. I added leg and we moved on. That in itself is a HUGE win.
Like, despite the rail at 4, I was really proud of how I rode this 7 stride. Because when we walked it, it walked in 7. And then I did 7. Not 6 + a flier. Not 8. SEVEN.
Even though SJ went nothing like I wanted it to, Trainer B said my riding was good (except the whole looking behind me. What an idiot), and this is all stuff we can clean up at home. So pray for me.
After SJ, we still had a number score, not a letter.
I mean, we made it around with no falls! Quite a different result than when I attempted BN at this same HT last June.
Go or Crash
Trainer B said I try to make things too perfect for P while jumping. And P has learned that if it’s not perfect, the answer is to stop and try again. And then I try even harder to set him up right, but if the Princess deems it not to be so, stopping is alright.
No. He said he’d rather P crash through fences than stop at them. Seems a little harsh, right? I did at first, but he explained that P has got to learn that not everything is going to be perfect for him, but that unless it’s absolutely dangerous for him to jump (like if I point him off the edge of a cliff..banks don’t count), the answer has got to be, “Yes, ma’am.” He also said P is smart enough not to WANT to crash into fences. But if I have that in my head as those are the only 2 options, chances are better that P will jump rather than stop. So basically he’s telling me not to let stopping be an option that I’ll accept, which I will then convey to P.
A new way of repeating something he’s been telling me for a long time. But the phrase is catchy enough that I might actually remember it.
Open-Fronts for Stadium.
Because we had to go straight to XC after stadium, I opted to just put on P’s Majyk Equipe XC boots for SJ. Which, looking back, probably contributed to the rails we had. I was honestly really surprised about the rails, because well, we never have them. If P jumps, he’s pretty much going to do what he needs to do not to hit a rail.
But in warmup, we hit a rail, then went in and he knocked down 3 rails (technically only 2 counted- the organizers were supposed to take out a jump after the final 2 stride, but they hadn’t done that when we went in), and was very casual about the whole thing. So great, ME technology is wonderful, but open-fronts for P from now on.