Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Decisions

Decisions have been made:

No endurance ride this year. I may shoot for three rides next year or I might just enjoy trail riding and horse camping with my family and skip the endurance rides all together. Endurance has been off the list for a couple of years based on Ashke's limitations, and it wasn't even a consideration until Diane told me she thought he could do a 25 mile ride. I do want to ride at Vedauwoo, but I don't want to experience an overnight with my horse for the first time amongst a group of horses we don't know. I also need to work on rating him without his front feet leaving the ground. I don't want him anxious. I want him relaxed.

Part of the reason for this decision (along with the above list) is the fact that I can do a one-day clinic with Mark Rashid the end of August. The cost of the clinic (one hour one on one, plus watching the other riders the rest of the day) is the same cost as the endurance ride. This is a no brainer for me. I adore Mark and would LOVE to be able to listen and learn and apply all of his training and philosophy to my relationship with Ashke. So, I am sending my deposit in for the clinic and skipping the endurance ride.

The other thing I am doing is an afternoon WE obstacle practice in Fort Collins with Allison on August 9th from noon to 4 pm. And then I am going to show at the RMIHC in Working Equitation Level 2. This is a three phase show with the dressage test on Friday and the EOH and Speed test on Saturday. I need to practice the two barrel obstacle at a canter and the garoucha pole at a canter. The other thing I am worried about is the dressage test.

I wish I had a trainer I could work with on this that understood the dressage tests for WE, but the only one I know I'm not allowed to bring to the barn for training. It really sucks. I'm just going to work on the pieces by myself and then after the show, work on whatever suggestions they make on the test. I do need to ask someone about the shallow serpentine trot. Maybe the riders at the Obstacle practice will be able to give me some direction on that part.

August and the first part of September are going to be WE busy.

11 comments:

  1. I'm excited you"ll get to attend a Rashid clinic! I know how much you respect him and the way he goes about horse things. I can't wait to read everything you take away from that. =)

    Sounds like some pretty solid decision making. I wish I could always put that kind of thought behind things I decide to do, I'm getting much better, but many things are still whimsical.

    Ashke is so lucky to have found you. I've met very few people who truly put the horse first as you always do in every tiny aspect. I look forward to hearing about your WE adventures in the very near future! I know y'all will kick butt - not entirely in the competitive way, but in the personal bests kind of way. =)

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    1. Thanks. We try. My only intention is to have a willing partner who wants to and loves what we do. Otherwise, it's a fight and I'm a lover not a fighter.

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  2. I'm no trainer, but that's very similar to many dressage tests I've ridden. You are welcome to ping me if you have questions and I'll do my best... jen jobst at gmail dot com.

    Here's a diagram I found of the shallow serpentine, maybe it will help? http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c102/ThoraoftheNord/NQH/LeslieWebbCounterCanter03.jpg

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    1. Thanks for the help! I think I will have J video a test and then post for feedback from the dressage riders that read my blog. I would love to have feedback from you.

      Thanks for the diagram of the serpentine. That's how I thought it should be ridden, but it is good to have an actual diagram to confirm my suspicions. I have a dressage arena to practice in that is 60 x 20. I will just need to shorten it some, (using paper letters I think) to the 40 x 20 size they use in WE. I was never very good at geometry, but at least in a 40 m ring, I know the 20m circle is rail to rail (side to side) and rail to midpoint on the long end.

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  3. I think this is what I would have chosen too, given the circumstances. If you do choose to do any of the endurance rides next year one thing I'd recommend doing with Ashke is practicing riding in a group if you can. They really can get "race brain" when starting out on a ride and it is no fun to be fighting with a fit horse for 25 miles to keep them at a trot when they have horses constantly passing/in front of/behind them. Our local trail riders group proved to be a valuable tool in getting Lily used to this. She used to freak out about being left behind to the point of exploding, but after a couple of rides with the group at w/t/c taking turns leading, following and being in the middle, she really did stop caring. Do you have a trail riding group in your area with whom you could ride next year? Liz has a riding club in Elkins, we have Trail Riders Of Today among others, Gail has the Midland Outlaws and a few others. I'd think you'd have something similar out in your part of CO given the amount of trails you have.

    It's fantastic that you can go to the clinic with Mark Rashid!

    Can Michelle help you with the dressage portion of the test? The best h/j trainers will also have a great dressage foundation and she might be able to coach you to help work on some of the details of practicing for the test. Working trot, correct bend, correct halts, 10 m circles and shallow serpentines are things that she should be more than capable of helping you work on. :)

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  4. What a shame you can't have the WE trainer come to TMR for a lesson. Maybe you could ask her/him if there's a barn they teach at that you could haul in to have a lesson?

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    1. I can haul in but it's over an hour away, which means at least three hours of trailering/handling the horse, for an hour lesson. If they had let the trainer come in, it would have been the regular hour lesson, which she was willing to do since she already works with another rider really close by. And why else am I paying so damn much money if not for the use of the facilities.

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  5. Sounds like a good decision. All the work for WE will help him in endurance in the long run as well!

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  6. Mark is amazing - I've been riding with him now for about 10 years - completely changed how I rode and how I approached my horses.

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    1. I've read all of his books. Currently working through Journey to Softness. (Wish it was on kindle). I deeply admire him and can't wait to train with him. To learn from him.

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  7. That's exciting about the clinic!! I think you made the right decision. �� I hope they can help you with the WE dressage.... That sucks about the trainer.

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