Life after Fair Hill isn’t much different than life before Fair Hill, except that now my hunger for and love of this sport has tripled. After seeing the quality of horses and riders, not to mention grooms, that was at FHI, I want nothing more than to continue to learn and progress in this sport and maybe, possibly, compete in an FEI event one day. Until then, I’ll be quite content just grooming at them. The atmosphere is unrivaled and I learned an immeasurable amount just by being there, watching and soaking it all up. Even though our week/end turned out to be disappointing, the best thing about eventing is that there’s always another competition to focus on. We’ll be heading to the CCI 2* at Chatt Hills next weekend with Monkee, and this time I’ll have a better idea of what to expect when we get there. Ardy, Benny and Pop are also coming along. I can’t tell you how excited I am to compete again, especially over the beautiful rolling course at Chatt Hills.
We had an amazing jumping lesson yesterday with C. Every time I jump Pop I get a better feel for when he is truly forward and when he’s faking. I also had a mental breakthrough. In the past I’ve usually kept my leg on, kept my leg on, kept my leg on…but then softened my hands three strides out only to get to the fence with nothing. This time, after being reminded by C, I kept a feel of his mouth and therefore packaged the energy instead of letting it get strung out. Voila! He jumped super and I felt very encouraged and happy after our lesson. We jumped a small course of an oxer off the right lead, to a vertical off the left lead, around to a one-stride off the right lead, and then over a skinny off the left lead. His changes were really good and clean (amazing how that happens when we’re not strung out) and he was really listening and we were on the same page. Good feeling! He’s such a good boy. He’s getting quite wooly and will be getting clipped in the near future!
Work has been a mix of trying to get everyone ridden and trying to reorganize the trailer. After every event I have a better idea of how to organize things in the trunks and the trailer. Watching some of the top grooms in our sport is really helpful and I’ve definitely come a long way from when I first started, throwing things wherever they would fit and never knowing where anything was. We seem to acquire more stuff after each show but everything is finding a place. I love packing! For the horses, anyway…I’m not the biggest fan of packing my own clothes!
I’ve been given a huge gift in an entire weekend off, so I’m putting the time into cleaning and organizing in the house (which I never seem to find time to do!) and lots of refreshing of Eventing Nation for Pan Am news. We’re leaving Thursday for Chatt Hills, with the jog up on Friday morning for Monkee. Wish us luck! God Bless!