Friday, August 7, 2015

Big Show Plans or "OMG WE'RE DOING THIS (maybe)"

Except Courage. Plz no bracing.
Brace yourselves. Omg.

I'm hoping to get my first level scores for my bronze medal at the big recognized show here in May 2016 at the Idaho Horse Park, which is all indoors. I've never ridden in it before (sad truth) and I want to do well, so here's the plan to set us up for success:

Dressage show 8.29 training 2 and 3

Dressage clinic 9.5-6 (wherein i will actually admit to the clinician that I want Bronze)

Dressage show 9.8 a training test and maaaaaaaybe first 1 if I feel brave. Or maybe not. That judge isn't our biggest fan. Super schooling show with not-a-real judge, so not a big deal either way.

this one time, we went to a show

Super crazy local jumper show series in a spooky indoor this winter to prep for big dressage show in a different and much bigger spooky indoor.

THEN hopefully some schooling shows in the spring so we aren't going in cold.

and a clinic
I know it's all so far away right now that it's silly to plan, but I'm just really excited about this plan. Are we good enough to get 60%+ at a recognized show at first level in nine months? I don't know. I hope so. I want to find out.

Part of the reason I'm excited about this plan right now is that I literally do not have the skills to ride second level, never mind third. This isn't me going solo with a greenie and trying to make things happen. It isn't rehashing the same skills I already have and trying to do the same things on a different horse.

can he be my third level horse?
This is learning a whole new skill set. It's working with instructors. It's expanding my horizons. It's exciting and challenging and methodical, and yet possibly do-able, if we keep after it. It's not a pie in the sky. It's a tangible thing that we can attain and no one can take away from us.

Don't get me wrong--I still want to jump Courage. I'm having a harder time setting goals in a jump arena though. I've shown through 3'3" in highschool and 2'9" on Cuna and I realistically do not have the guts or finances or drive to just keep moving up for moving up's sake. Like a 3'6" course is a giant no to me. It doesn't even look fun. Or like something that I want to do, ever. And it never has.

On the other hand, I'm totally down for sweet third level moves. Like flying changes. And stuff. What's in third level anyways?


  1. YAY! I definitely plan years and years in advance, it's more fun that way. Your plan sounds totally doable, you guys are doing really great right now so First in 9 months is more than reasonable.

    That's how I always found dressage vs jumping. The upper levels in jumping looked terrifying, no thank you. The upper levels in dressage looked SO FUN (and they were). Doesn't mean that I don't like jumping, I just chose to jump small fences for fun and do dressage for realz.

    3-1 is a really inviting test, it has half pass at the trot, shoulder-in at the trot, turns on the haunches at walk, mediums/extended at walk/trot/canter, flying changes, and 10m canter circles. I think that's basically it, it feels like a dream after 2-3 (or actually 2-2 is worse than 2-3 this time around).

  2. That is a great goal! It's doable but it's not going to be easy. Good luck. I'll be rooting for you.

  3. Planning is part of the enjoyment! Very exciting.

  4. Sounds very doable! I am really enjoying planning my 2016 season for my young horse. I agree with Sarah, planning is a big part of the fun!

  5. there's a lot of value in planning that far in advance. things might not go exactly as you anticipate, but by sketching out a general timeline, you're less likely to get caught off guard by a training hole. you can totally do it!!

  6. You can do this. And, I can tell you from personal experience, jumping and trail riding a 3rd Level horse is like, "OMG!!!1! SO Fun! SQUEEEEE!!1!!" Remember, the original point of dressage was to build solid cavalry horses who could ride all day to the battle, jumping whatever was in their way, plow over the enemy in battle, then prance along in the parade after the victory. Dressage makes everything else better and more fun!

  7. Your plan sounds very doable! Good luck. :)

  8. Awesome goal and solid sounding prep plan. It will be exciting to hear how it goes! You have me toying with the idea of going for bronze as well, but we are definitely one year out from starting 1st level. Maybe in 2017 for us. You go girl!

  9. You are totally not crazy to have this all planned out now. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Now you know what you want to accomplish it and have a road map to get to it. You guys will get it in May!

  10. I love to plan out my showing year. To me it makes perfect sense to have a plan. I haven't yet looked at 2016 as I am still wrapping up this year (Regional show in 2 weeks). I am hoping to ride with my favorite German clinician this fall. Based on that lesson, I'll make my plans for 2016. I am a slowpoke though, so my move to 2nd Level may still be a ways off. :0)

    Best of luck through the fall and winter. We'll be rooting for you!

  11. Yes, you can ride 2nd, 3rd, even 4th level. FEI starts to get a bit trickier, but no reason not to go to for that too. As long as you are having fun and your horse is advancing in his training, why not.

    Now, as to the 3'6" courses? I think you will find that as Courage develops as a dressage horse, those fences will seem a lot smaller. It's all in how you get to the fence not how you get over it. I keep remember one of the event riding masters I worked with years ago telling me something like that. Over the years, I discovered that was true.

    Just give yourself and your horse the time and don't sell yourself short at any level.


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