Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Chase Update - July 2016

It's been quite a while since I last updated this blog, and I want to "Get back on the horse"" so to speak.  I want to do some longer form things but for now, just a quick update to get back into the swing of things:

Chase has been doing quite well.  He's as healthy as well...a horse.  He's been at the same barn for about a year and a half now and he's very happy with it. 

2016-03-17 - Golden hour with the Pony

He and I train 5-6 days a week, working on any number of things.  His conditioning is getting better (so we can train longer and work on exercises and movements that are more physically demanding).  Chase is also learning how to use his body more effectively (yet another vague reference that I should describe in more detail in another post!)  A short answer to the question "what the heck does "more effectively" mean is: he is developing more of his power from his hind end and his balance is starting to get better.  These are all basic staples necessary to succeed in dressage

2015-07-31: A solid Performance including 1st in Intro B, 2nd in Intro C, and  Reserve division championship.


All of this training helps to further my goals of progressing through the levels of dressage and doing well at the occasional schooling shows we compete at.  I don't show (primarily) for any personal gain or benefit (Though winning a competition and getting a couple ribbons once in a while sure does feel nice).  One reason I show is a mission I set for myself of showing that a rescued horse is as good as any other horse.  Many times rescued horses have an unfair (and incorrect) stigma associated with them.

Last year Chase and I did fairly well together, with a number of high 60%s scores (and a few low 70%s).  We even took home two Reserve champion ribbons for Introductory Division.  (This includes the tests Intro A, B, C)  We also started showing the next higher level tests, Training Level.  We showed Training 1 two or three times last summer/fall.  If there was one thing I think Chase and I need, it's more consistency.  On any given day he can go out and have an amazing day or a kinda crappy day.   It sort of depends on how he feels.  Also, during a test, he will have absolutely brilliant moments, then some not so brilliant ones.  Alas, I am not alone in my struggle for consistency.  It is a struggle many dressage riders face.

2015-11-08 - Intro C: A decent moment, though a bit behind the bit. (head tucked in and down, Poll is not the highest point as it should be)
 You are probably wondering what the heck I'm talking about when I spout off test names like Intro A and Training 1.  Well you can see the Intro Tests on the USDF website and everything else on the USEF Website.

My main goal for this show season are to master the training level tests (1, 2, 3).  I'll do Training 2 for the first time early in July.  If that goes well I will look at dropping Training 1 and substituting in Training 3 by Mid August.  I'll measure success as consistently  attaining high 60% scores on our dressage tests.  My stretch goal is to show a 1st Level Test (the next level above Training) by the end of this fall and score at least a 60 on it.

I am going to try to update this blog more frequently from now on...Equus still has many things to say..tho his social schedule is quite busy, as one might expect for a unicorn.  But I'll ask you, what else do you want to hear about?