Sunday, August 24, 2014, will be a day chock filled with firsts. It is our first ever mini-trials! It's a schooling mini-trials which is awesome.

It will be the day of our/my first show where:

  1. we have a judged stadium round
  2. we have a judged (albeit un-timed) cross country round
  3. I wear a xc vest
  4. I'm going to actually ride (not just perch up there and pray with a death grip on the reins) a dressage test
  5. we're in a judged jumping round that is not cross-rails
  6. we move up from baby-grasshopper/starter (which, at our combined trials schooling show years ago consisted of ground poles and NO xc)
  7. I have a solid lower leg in a show
  8. I'm not perching over jumps but have a solid seat and secure lower leg. 
  9. I don't have a reader (because, if I can't memorize Intro B, it's a lost cause)
  10. we jump lots of jumps in one day
  11. I feel like I'm actually competing. 
  12. I feel like I'm actually doing something other than popping up on my pony for a quick 2 minute dressage test. 
  13. we have a dressage test PLUS stadium round PLUS cross country round
  14. I keep Dassah in front of my leg
  15. I have contact
  16. I not only have contact but DO NOT allow the bulging out of shoulders (see 4, and 15)
  17. we are competing against advanced pairs in our division. 
  18. we are jumping
  20. I hear, "3, 2, 1 - Have a good ride!"

NOW - All that being said, the great thing about this is that we can totally screw up. This is where we determine the kinks, where there's no pressure, where we get to compete without the stress. ONLY I know I'll be stressed. Shit, I'm jittery right now typing all this! But it's okay! I get to go out there and have fun. It's not about the ribbons (someone please glue that to my glasses frame so I can read it all the time), it's about learning and pushing and striving but also FINALLY getting out there and doing something I've been wanting to do for years!

However, I am practicing positive imagery (or whatever it is when you see yourself doing everything right). 

All I need to remember is (besides test pattern which I've got memorized): 

Lower leg
Lower leg down
Lower leg down and secure

Ride each step. 
Ride each step with soft firmness
Take it slow, take it easy. 
Be in the moment. 

Dressage specific: 
Tuck that butt (in dressage)
Look up

Jumping specific: 

Wait for the jump
Two strides out, stop posting if we trot in - KEEP LEG ON
Keep that right rein steady, keep the left rein steady, and that left leg on (if she refuses she'll slide out to the left). 
Look up. 
Hands slide along neck - with continued contact
Think, "butt down and back" 



  1. Good luck! And more importantly, have fun. :)

  2. Exciting! Hope it was a great day, I'm sure we'll hear all about it soon :)


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