The Katmah Experience

living and learning one day at a time.

One Heart

Today was an off day for both horse and rider. Last night’s schooling was mediocre, but I was having a hard time focusing and Willard had too much energy. But whatever, we moved on. This morning I got to the show early to hack out some excess energy. Then we did the usual waiting routine, and begun our day with 2’9 schooling rounds. This is the only 2’9 class we’re doing this weekend! It went all right, there were parts of it that were very nice, like the far outside 6-stride, which we could get right for the life of us last night. Other parts, the the white 5 stride weren’t as nice. But, it was a schooling round after all. So no hard feelings.

My second class of the day was my Sr. Low Hunter.

This round was slightly messier than the first round. By this point in the day, my hip was even stiffer then it started out and my shoulder was being a bad word too. As anybody who rides knows, the hip is a vital joint in our sport. So when that seizes up, you’re pretty much screwed. I was riding very stiff today, and I think that’s why it was hard for us to find our pace on course. It’s frustrating, especially coming off such a great show at Beach. It almost makes me regret taking the past 2 weeks off to rest. Was it worth it? Even when the issues come back as soon as I start competing again? I mean, I didn’t completely take them off, but I did only ride twice in those two weeks. Even more frustrating? The two times I did ride, my body felt fine. Of course, once we get to Heart everything falls apart again when I really need it most.

After my classes today I went straight to an appt with my AT, where I was supposed to start my strength training routine again, but because all my numerous issues have returned, we were unable to do anything besides treatment. My quad, hip, lower back, shoulder, and glute were all worked on. Most of which are actually feeling a little better, except for the shoulder.

But you know what? Tomorrow is a new day. A new show day. We’re going to forget about the pace and distance issues we had today, and start anew in the morning. One day at a time.

3 responses to “One Heart”

  1. I know you feel like you had a messy round, but honestly, you two are a beautiful horse and rider combination. I know most horse owners tend to obsess over the details and can’t enjoy everything they’re doing right. Right now I am struggling with landing on the correct canter lead and getting Handsome to snap his knees up nicely – and you and Willard achieve this effortlessly!

    I hope you’re having fun at HOTC, and I know your weekend will get better – they always do!

    I do have one question: you said that 2’9″ was a schooling round. Is it judged? And is the idea to get your horse exposed to the course without the score counting towards your overall performance for the weekend?

  2. Thanks Kiirsten! I’m trying really hard to focus on all the things we are doing right, because there is quite a few. It’s just that coming off a show like we had at Beach, the small issues we’re having right now seem much bigger then they are. You are right though, I am making mountains out of molehills.
    Try opening your inside rein as you take jumps, this might encourage Handsome to take his lead when he lands. There are many other tactics I’ve used, like leaning on your inside stirrup over the fence (not recommended, especially with green horses, it can through them off balance/confuse them), or add pressure on your outside leg over the jump, just like you would if you were asking for the lead on the flat. All these take practice, and believe me, Will didn’t always get those leads off jumps. That will come with time as you do more course work and go to more shows.
    And yes, schooling classes are usually un-judged, however I have been to a few shows where they will place them. Basically it’s a class where you can go in and do a set course. It’s usually before the other classes in that division, so kinda like a practice round. You don’t have to be braided or wear a jacket or anything- as far as I know.

  3. Thanks for the tips. I’ll give the rein-opening technique a try!

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