Pre-show Thoughts, FCHP Schooling Show, April 2021

Riding Journal

Awareness of the outside world. Earth Day.
First horse show since 2019. [Dressage, Jump]

I had thoughts.

I had my second vaccine the Tuesday before the show. This is relevant because I chose not to take any aspirin/ibuprofen/whatnot in the subsequent days. I was told it was okay, but why risk compromising the vaccine response? Unfortunately, I have collected sufficient aches & pains that no meds for four days left me cranky and irritable. Easy prey for negativity.

Negative 1. This shouldn’t be this hard. A small class at a small show should not require months of preparation.

Negative 2. There is no up side. If it goes badly, that’s bad. If it goes well, it’s still only a tiny class at a tiny show that took me 11 years to accomplish.

Come the day, my happy emotions overrode my grumpy rational objections. As they do.

As I loaded the trailer, I kept thinking, ‘I am FINALLY getting back to a horse show.’

The implication was first show since Previous Horse a decade ago. In the meanwhile, I have done half-a-dozen shows with Milton and dozens of ASB shows. Those are different. I’m not sure why.

I shall have to unpack this thought at some point.

All the travel to practice paid off handsomely. Rodney was relaxed in the ring. I got over the lack of halt. I figured out a warm up that would work, i.e handwalking to start, lots of walking, some standing, a tad of trotting.

Speaking of standing, I tried something new for the entrance. Instead of trotting around the ring, I trotted the long side – mostly because I felt I had to trot somewhere – walked to A, then stopped and waited for the bell. This wasn’t a halt. This was standing at ease until the judge was ready for us. Rodney’s brain is so busy that standing gives him time to slow down and process. Odd, but it worked for us.

Prep Links
[Ears In The Arena, Let The Acclimatization Begin]
[A to X to Where?!? Weirding Out Over New Dressage Maneuvers]
[Playing Marco Polo In A Dressage Ring]
[Protocol Will Be Respected]
[Finish Your Pass, um, Corner]
[Checking In On Three Phases]

Jump Class Considerations
Much in-house discussion preceded our entering the crossrail class.


Really? Crossrails? CROSSRAILS?!?!

Pfft. Call me when we are jumping something interesting.

Long wait between classes.

We have not schooled two sessions in one day.

One crisis at a time. Our first WTC dressage test was enough to worry about.

Rushing Rodney never works. He gets overwhelmed by life.


Gotta start somewhere.

Waiting until the time is right risks becoming never the right time.

He was fine with double sessions at the barrel race. [Not From Around These Parts]

He’s 22. The calendar is not on our side.


See how it goes and enter on the day.

He coped so well in dressage that I considered going home right after. Since we where there, we gave him a chance to stand around and snack.

Why not, we’re here.


As it turned out, crossrails was an excellent choice. Since the height was negligible, we could work the mental angle. We could walk over them if needed, and did on one occasion. It was a hair bigger and longer than we had been practicing, but our prep paid off. He kept the sproings under control.

In retrospect, I would not change anything about our lead-up to the show, or the plan we had for the day itself.

Well, I’d change a lot of things, if I had my druthers, starting with the fence height.

That is not a peace-inducing train of thought.

Give the horse we have and his history and our history, I would not change anything in our lead-up to this show.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

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