My thoughts about riding and the show this weekend have been sporadic at best, though I've been trying my best to collect and analyze them. Like anyone with a past of horse-related head injuries can relate, my memory isn't what it used to be. Keeping my ideas and time schedule together for horse shows is just really hard. It seems like I've tried a different technique for every show, nothing ever really working out. Here are a few things rattling around in my leaky brain for this weekend:
- Surprisingly, I've found myself to be less stressed and more "pulled together" when showing on my own, with no one around to manage or rely on. For this weekend, I won't be alone, but I won't really have help. My husband is coming along, which is a help unloading the trailer. He's going to read my tests for me (after we practice that on Friday), but otherwise won't be responsible for doing much. Getting my horse ready, having all my stuff on and within reach, and getting myself warmed up and to the ring calmly will be all on me. I think I'd rather have it that way.
- I read on Eventing Nation this morning that young eventer Caitlin Silliman does a bit of stretchy trot while circling her dressage ring. Her horse, Catch A Star, reminds me of Guinness, a little tight in the neck, a touch hot, and sensitive. The writer felt this stretchy trot helped Catch a Star to relax. I'm thinking this might be a little note that Guinness and I take to the show this weekend. The stretchy trot is so hard for us to get in the ring anyway, maybe schooling it around the outside is a good idea for us. No harm in trying it.
- I finally broke down and bought one of these hairnets to corral my outrageously long and heavy hair in a bun on my neck, instead of attempting to cram it under my helmet. I've been doing hunter hair for so many years, and had it drilled into my head that flyaways are unacceptable. That makes the fact that my hair absolutely will not fit under my current helmet without falling out incredibly distressing. Plus, I'm always frantically trying to do my hair right before I get on. How lovely to be able to do it early in the morning, and be able to not worry about it the rest of the day. Riding with a bun on my neck will take some getting used to, but the only other solutions are cutting my hair (What?! Then I'd have to do something with it!), or buy a new larger helmet (which I used to do, but can't afford right now). Now, I just have to practice with it...
- Speaking of the stretchy trot, I need to focus on keeping my legs on my horse -- but only in the show ring. In practice, I'm working on my seat and my contact. My legs are a bit too much of the equation to think about, and their problems seem to resolve when my upper body is correct (read: upright, stretching/supporting abs, shoulders down back)
For now, it is late and my tack is clean. Time to get some sleep. Good luck to everyone showing this weekend!