For the most part, things have been pretty quiet on the May front since our show. It’s already getting hot in California, and I am not sure how many events we will go to (or rather… I would want to go to) before the fall season. A few of my barn mates are making the trip to Rebecca in July, but not only do I have to work, they are also not offering a BN division.
We did end up XC schooling a couple of weeks ago. Pulling together some related distances and tougher questions. As usual, May was great. At this point, she seems to think the super straight forward BN jumps and long gallop stretches just need a bit more spice. We worked on one of my favorite questions at home, a set of full sized BN hanging logs on a bending 6 strides. This time though, we worked it on the downhill angle, which required May to really listen to me and rock back. She was great. It was great. She clearly enjoys the harder questions.
It was really fun to compare the difference in my riding from my first event (picture above) in May 2016, and our event at Galway. While I still love to give into the hunter duck occasionally, a more open chested jumping position has become my default. My leg is much more stable, and my hands are low, open and following, versus just chucking the reins away. Is there still room for improvement? Always, but it’s fun to see progress like this. The only piece of equipment to survive all 5 years? My vest… which probably needs to be replaced at some point soon.
There have been some conversations of a Novice move up. We’ll keep training like that, but we probably won’t do it. Managing the balance and step we would need to get through a full sized novice combination is just a hair too dicey for my questionable eye for distance. If any one of the line, balance, speed, and distance are off, we are unlikely to comfortably make it through a Novice sized combination. Is it worth rocking her confidence by trying? Probably not. So we’re a bit in no-mans land with a horse that is SUPER confident at BN, but probably not quite athletic enough for Novice.
Lots of thoughts rolling around about that one. But while I wait, our XC video from Galway came through! It’s funny because she never moves particularly quickly, but I can see that she never really softened until jump like 10 or 11. It was a good schooling round, and she clearly wasn’t concerned about any of the questions being asked!