Thursday, October 5, 2023

Stable View Recap

This is a post with no media currently, apologies. I waited on writing this, hoping to get a pic or two from the show photographers and also dilly dallying because it wasn't our best. The TLDR is I screwed up dressage, he screwed up stadium, but we both came together to make cross country super fun. 

Dressage: I had still been riding at home with the slow, soft mentality. But when I put this into practice at the show warm up, it ended up being a sticky, behind the leg warm up. JT had me get after him to go forward, but it didn't work super well and I kind of picked a fight with him. We carried this into the dressage arena which is at the top of a large hill with plenty to stare at, and had the most tense, spooky test we've ever had, reflected in our 38.  Unlike at FHP a few weeks prior where I managed to relax the spookiness partway through, I just held onto it and was cranky and tense myself, so he never managed to relax. The judge was NOT feeling generous either, first place score was a 29.7. And his tongue plumb doesn't stay in his mouth no matter what we do with his noseband, so every movement the judge can see it, subtract another point. I was salty, but this phase was all on me. Still, it is disheartening to take what was previously our best phase and have it fall apart. 

Stadium: He warmed up great. But I got into the ring and rode him a little under powered at the first jump, a plank oxer. I have forgotten a bit the feeling that he needs to be almost running away with me to be going the right pace for him in stadium. And again, a lot of atmosphere, and he was feeling spooky and attempted to stop at the first one. I whacked him with the crop and we had a decent jump at two, but dallied into three and knocked it, then put 6 strides into a 5 stride line and knocked the next one too. I said out loud "We are GETTING our SHIT together" after that, and we actually did. The rest of it rode fine, but I was decently annoyed. He's 13, he's travelled all over the east coast, we're doing novice, this should not be this much of an issue. He is so emotionally sensitive though, that I'm not sure he'd gotten over me being unpleasant and unsupportive during the dressage test. 

Cross Country: We ran cross country the same day as stadium, with about 1.5 hours in between. So he got a break and I wrestled his studs in. He clicked "ON" after his second warm up jump. THEN he felt like the seasoned competitor I know he is. He was taking me to the jumps and felt trustworthy. 

We'll do the rest of the recap with the jump photos because of lack of other media... 

Get him GOING, make sure he takes you seriously. Which he did. And he jumped it great. 

Friendly box log that he jumped great as well. 

I took this picture right at the time of day when we went, so it was in fact this much in the shade. I rode the crap out of it, spurs in, hands forward, not trusting him at all. He didn't bat an eye though. 

Then we rolled downhill to #4. Around this point I half halted and he responded well, so I let him roll forward a bit more before bringing him back to this. 

Sort of across a hill to these chevrons. We got a wonky spot, but he pinged over it anyways. 

Through the shade then across a deep, red sand road, to a jump we shared with BN. He didn't bat an eye at any of it and gave it a suitably unimpressed jump over it. 

We wove through some upper level jumps to get to this one, but he was only mildly spooky at the other jumps and once I put his eye on this he was totally focused. 

Then he POWERED up this hill. With no urging from me, he just dug in and stretched out to a true gallop. 

Per instruction, I eased him up a bit almost at the top of the hill and we both took a breath before rolling forward to the brush. 

Then rolled forward again to the double brush

I rounded the corner a bit tight, so he chipped to the ditch, but read it right and pushed forward for the correct 3 to the out. 

The fenced in pine cone collection cracked me up so I had to take a picture 

Standard table, jumped it great

Stable view hammock that we jumped dead center, so not quite at the lowest point, but he seemed very nonchalant. 

Through the water, no prob

Over the corner, again totally trustworthy 

At this point he did feel maybe a bit tired by his gallop up the hill, so I had to push him forward. But wasn't a sketchy slow down, just a bit of a tired feeling. 

He picked up the pace again for this

And finished easily over the house. JT warned us people have been eliminated by jumping the wrong side of these (the M/T one was also the same size for both, but flagged separately just like this BN/N one). So I gave it a good hard look. 

We finished 25 seconds under optimum time and it felt GREAT! I was so happy, we definitely needed that after struggling through the first two phases. We actually finished 6th/13 on our 46.3 and got a pair of winter gloves. Fun! 

Plenty to work on, including a few more dressage lessons, and an outing to the spookiest stadium course we can find with JT in the irons. But overall, finishing on a XC run like that felt great. 


  1. what an awesome run -- must have felt amazing! that course looks great too

  2. Glad that you ended on a good note if nothing else!