Thursday, March 3, 2016

Dat show season, tho.

Even though snow is forecast to fall tonight and Saturday, I'm sitting over here excited as can be about my spring plans. I even revised my show schedule page to reflect any and all shows/clinics I am considering for the year.

If you click over, you'll note a couple of upcoming moments of excitement, the most exciting of which is my acceptance into April's Janet Foy Ride-a-Test clinic!
Don't worry Ms. Foy. I'm trying to get those withers lifted more by April...
Less exciting but more pressing, I also entered the final schooling show in my barn's winter series, scheduled for tomorrow. The first few shows in the series were unfortunately taking place while Pig was still gaining strength or lame with old-man-itis. Now he's back in gear and ready to run through a third level test just to see what the biggest sticking issues are.

Of course, the horse is finally ready, but I have come down with some version of the flu. Which totally sucks. In true horse-girl style, I plan to man-up and destroy my health to ride my horse in a tiny schooling show with zero payoff. Bring it on!
"Destroy yourself for a minor horse-related event? Why... I never!"
Of course, even for a small schooling show I find myself obsessing over the details, like memorizing the test. Mainly, I keep wondering if I should bust out Pig's double for this show.
Such fancy. Much blur. So dark.
I schooled him in it on Tuesday night, expecting some soreness related tantrums when it came to collection. While he was a little tight and tense starting off, the curb does a great job of helping me encourage him to keep his head out and down while warming up and during transitions. That's vital to accessing his brain, and keeping him calmer during a ride. Based on that alone, I am inclined to show in the double. However, when he is really working well he goes much better in the snaffle.

Hard to tell. Right now I'm considering warming up in the snaffle and seeing how that goes. He's so temperamentally unpredictable from ride to ride, I can't really make that sort of decision on the day. And, the fact that I'm basically using this show only to run through the test has me want to try it in the double just to see if that's a viable option during the show season.

Thoughts?

28 comments:

  1. I vote try the double! If thats what your moving towards using for the show season, see what happens with him in it and youll know what is needed better for prepping for shows.

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  2. Stay healthy and have a great ride! Those are my only thoughts. :)

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  3. I think trying out the double turns this from a "tiny schooling show with zero pay-off" to an excellent opportunity to test your plan for this year.

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  4. Feel better soon! I vote for the double. May as well test it out.

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  5. ugh so crappy about being sick! i think which bridle you ride in depends on which outcome is more important. sacrificing some brain power for potentially better quality with the snaffle? or sacrificing potentially better quality to ensure that brain stays firmly installed? could really go either way!

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    1. When you put it that way, it makes a big case for the double. I'm always about maintaining a happier horse brain. :)

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  6. I vote you take the double for a test drive! No better time than a schooling show with no real consequences.

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  7. Congrats on the clinic! I'm no help on the bridle... Officially can't make it to that clinic to audit and watch and learn either. Boo. But please keep me informed on others in the future. I'd like to get to a minimum of two this year to audit and learn!!!

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    1. Nooo! I was hoping you could! I'll keep you updated!

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  8. The double makes him look legit as shit. Not that he isn't legit, but it takes him to a whole new legit level.

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  9. So excited for Janet Foy!! Good luck at the schooling show too!

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  10. I, uh, "strongly relate" to horses that require last minute equipment adjustments. Because sometimes the super-magic fairy dust bit from yesterday is FIRE AND BRIMSTONE today.

    Because obviously.

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    1. The world is innundated with Brimstone. It's a damned invasive species...

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  11. Oh yes I have gone back and forth between double and snaffle for 2 years at Third. But my horse is the opposite of Pig - he dives way down. Sometimes he would REALLY dive in the double and duck behind the contact, so I rode him in the snaffle until we worked through that. Now he is much better in the double. I think it will ebb and flow. But, can't hurt to try!

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    1. Can't hurt indeed! I don't usually ride him in the double. I find too many rides in it tend to back him off contact too much. But for a ride where I need him to stay with me more, it's usually a good choice.

      It's very interesting to me how everyone uses a double for different things. I didn't think I'd have any use for it on this horse for a long time because he is the opposite of heavy, and I'd always seen it used in relation to heavy horses. But, now I realize that it has a TON of valid use with a horse that is super light or tense in helping them get their head in the right place to have them come through better, rather than get it too high with the snaffle and lose the connection in the back. It's fascinating...

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    2. Now this I would read a blog on. (Yeah me and like two other people, but whatevs.) Courage and I are a long ways from a double, but he's very light/sensitive and given the recent rule changes, I'm questioning whether he'll ever go in one.

      Obviously, total non-issue because we aren't even close to there yet, but it would be interesting to hear about your journey with your sensitive horse. ;-)

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    3. Hmmmm ... I will think on this issue...

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  12. Also ... checked your show schedule and there are no Indiana shows there. *SAD FACE* I will miss you guys this year.

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  13. I vote the double! May as well give it a whirl- you need his focus and attention at shows anyway, so you may as well test drive how practicing in the snaffle and showing in the double goes. I never got Mikey back to his double- he was doing well in his snaffle so I left him in it for his last show. Also, warming up in your snaffle and showing in the double sounds like a neat experiment too- isn't that what a lot of the pros do? If you won't lose Pig's concentration getting off and back on, it might be worth a try too.

    Also, I'm so sad I'll only see you in May! I was debating going to June VADA/NOVA, but I can't justify the cost when a closer cheaper show with two qualifying classes is that weekend too. Also, I haven't heard good things about Glenwood Park from the eventing crowd, just FYI.

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    1. What are you planning for May? Glenwood Park was really just on there because of proximity. I doubt I'll be hitting it up. Usually I only end up doing 2-3 shows on my list anyway. :)

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    2. I'll be at the May 21-22 PVDA show. It'll be Penn's first recognized outing!

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    3. Yay! Maybe if I can't find a ride, you can pick me up? ;)

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    4. I'm betting we could do that! :-)

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  14. I hope that you feel better soon. It doesn't sound like there is too much downside to you using the double, so it's worth a shot.

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  15. I vote double, but that's because he looks handsome as shit with it!

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  16. I'm really far behind so I will just say 'omg you can do it!"

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