I did the thing to do the thing

Well guys, guess who’s entered in an actual event?

um no I am retired, gimme cookie

I got to looking at the weather forecast and the temperatures actually look pretty promising for the MeadowCreek show in two weeks. Mid 80’s in Texas in June??? That’s just not a thing. Normally we’re at or near triple digits by now. But indeed the temperatures are supposed to be pretty good, so I was like hmm… Henry could go run around the Novice right? He isn’t the fit, svelte Prelim horse that he used to be, but he still gets ridden a lot and he’s definitely plenty fit for Novice. I mean… is he “tuned up” at this point? Not particularly. Has he worn a bit more than like 5 times in the past 2 years? No. Do I ride him in my dressage saddle at all anymore? Not really. Have we jumped a full course in the past like month and a half? Negative. But even if we’re mega rusty he’s still an experienced event horse, Novice should theoretically be a pretty easy hop-around for him (the after-the-fact benefit of all those years of hard work).

Of course, the reason that the temperatures are staying so mild is that it won’t quit freaking raining. Like for real. Every other day it pours buckets.

looking out my living room window on Friday. That one was BAD, the power was out for 10 hours.

Is there a chance of rain every single day in the 10 day forecast? Yup. But, ya know… worst case scenario the show gets rained out or if the footing is too muddy I can just scratch (Henry isn’t drilled and tapped these days, nor was he much of a mudder even when he was). This is clearly a very low key, low pressure affair. If we can go, great, if we can’t, oh well. We aren’t working towards anything, it’s purely just for fun.

But I did start to get a few things together. First, I ran my idea past my trainer who responded with a resounding “DO IT!”, and then I scheduled a jump lesson. It’s rained so much here that my jump field is just a soggy squishy overgrown jungle and that probably won’t change anytime in the near future. I had a jump set up in the dressage arena, but.. ya know… that doesn’t really mimic a jump course nor can you really jump at pace in a small arena. So we scheduled a jump lesson for Monday, come hell or (literal) high water.

Which meant that on Sunday, Henry got clipped.

I usually clip him every summer anyway, to help him deal with the heat, I just moved it up by a couple weeks. I used to be skeptical of the summer clipping thing until I realized just how much hair comes off some of these thicker-coated horses. It’s a lot more than you would think, especially over their back half. Henry always seems noticeably cooler after it’s all gone, so even if there’s nothing worse than clipping a horse while sweating profusely and getting it all completely stuck to you, it’s still totally worth it for him.

it’s a lot of hair

I can already tell that I’m cursing myself by even putting this much preparation and thought into it. The show is gonna rain out for sure now…

Anyway. After Friday night’s complete deluge (I haven’t seen rain like that in a very long time, it was INSANE) it was too wet/slick to ride all weekend so on Monday I loaded him up for our lesson with Henry having had two days off. Not a big deal at all, by age 14 he’s pretty much the same horse all the time anyway, with maybe just a little more dolphining in the canter depending on how wild he is. It was the first time I’ve hauled him anywhere in a while though, so there was some mournful screaming for the first few minutes before he settled into his hay.

My trainer’s place got a lot of rain too, so about half of her jump field was quite squishy. What I really needed though, was to jump some lines, and to just have more space to open the canter up to what it needed to be. We had two lines where the footing was good enough, a regular one and a bending, and enough space to get the pace, so it worked just fine. I warmed up, we popped a few singles while I tried to remember what the appropriate jumping pace was (it’s always more than I think, I’ll catch on to that eventually right? Probably not.), and then jumped each line twice. By the third line I remembered how to rev the engine in the corner, re-balance, and then maintain the canter out of it, and tada everything clicked back in. I will say though, I think it’s harder to see a good distance to a smaller fence – they were set Novice height – than it is a larger one. There are just so many tempting options, I want to sample them all. I swear it was easier when they were so big that your only choice was to just keep coming at it no matter what.

my only lesson media. Sorry, we failed.

Mission accomplished though, and hopefully it’ll dry at least enough to jump a little bit at home in the next couple weeks. If not, well… we’ll wing it.

I’m still waffling on what to do about the dressage part. I’m very tempted to just do it in his jump tack and not really worry about it, mostly because the few times I’ve sat in my dressage saddle lately I’ve just felt really displeased with it, like I’m fighting it a lot. I was never totally in love with how the block hit my thigh (I have a pretty long femur and prefer something more forward), but I think after taking so much time away from it it’s become even more obvious how it’s not really helping me out. Of course, the thought of buying a new dressage saddle for Henry is like… hilarious. Why bother. Granted, if I’m not going to use the one I have I should probably just sell it. All it’s really doing at this point is sitting in my tack room depreciating in value. Not that I want to deal with selling a saddle, which is about as fun as getting a root canal. Anybody want a Devoucoux Loreak? *cries in equestrian*

10 thoughts on “I did the thing to do the thing

  1. yay on signing up for an event. Ride in jump tack. SO Much easier and less stress 🙂 But again that is what i do:) HA! i cant wait for this event for you. HOPEFULLY the weather gods will be merciful and not twits! 🙂

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  2. I hear you on selling a saddle….my never-quite-fit-right jump saddle has gone from almost-ok to really-not-so-ok, so I’m looking at selling it and buying a new one. Only of course nobody wants a wide tree County Eventer (in black), so selling it is going to be an absolute bitch. I figure I’ll throw it on eBay and be patient, ha.

    I’d say ride in the dressage tack, but that’s the dressage rider in me talking….I personally have enough issues staying back in the saddle for proper dressage equitation without fighting a jump saddle pitching me forward!

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    1. See I feel way more properly balanced in my jump saddle, whereas in the dressage saddle I feel like I’m either behind the motion or tipped up out of the seat.

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      1. I would totally ride in your jump tack, and I’m a DQ too! It’s not like you NEED a dressage saddle even for the mid-levels (as Cob Jockey adeptly demonstrates!) so I say go with whatever makes you feel the most comfortable and balanced.

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    2. What seat size in it? I may actually really want it. I’m having to sell my saddle as it is killing my back and my boy is super wide. Black is fine with me.

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  3. Team Doing-Dressage-in-a-Jump-Saddle checking in. Hell, I’ve been doing rated in a brown forward flap jump saddle and a black bridle. I’m way past giving a fuck, as hard as Connor has been to find a Dressage saddle for, and I can legally show in it til I think PSG so. Do it!

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  4. Yay, can’t wait for “show media” from you guys again! And Henry (never mind you) will have a blast! For the jompies parts again, at least. He might not be overjoyed at having to work in the sandbox again.

    I must admit to some amusement about your dressage saddle dilemma, because I’ve been around here long enough to remember when you were on the hunt to find that Loreak. You rode in your trainer’s first, I believe, and loved it… but I guess things/we change! 😉 God knows this equestrian needs to feel safe, secure and as comfortable as possible, and I will go to great lengths to try to achieve that.

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  5. This is so exciting!!! Also, I relate to the following 100%:
    “I tried to remember what the appropriate jumping pace was (it’s always more than I think, I’ll catch on to that eventually right? Probably not.)”
    “I think it’s harder to see a good distance to a smaller fence – they were set Novice height – than it is a larger one. There are just so many tempting options, I want to sample them all.”
    I am struggling making the jumps bigger because I feel like my eye isn’t working so well at the height we’re jumping, which makes jumping higher seem terrifying… But I really do know it gets easier when they’re bigger.
    I hope it stops raining so much so you can actually go do the thing! Excited to read about it.

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  6. If your dressage saddle isn’t making you feel like a million bucks, then sell it. There is nothing worse than having to fight the tack.
    Later on you can turn around and start shopping for a dressage saddle that fits both you & Presto when that time comes around. With Presto’s size and movement, I suspect you will be flat schooling him in a dressage saddle more often.

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