Oh gosh, it’s been ten days without a post from me! I don’t know where June has even gone too! We are leaving for Kentucky in three weeks and I will admit I am starting to get nervous/excited about NAJYRC, finally!
The riding has been in excess lately, which is always a good thing. I really feel with all the opportunities I have been afforded this summer that my position and feel has gotten so much better. I know that I always have a long way to go but I am really proud of both my horse and myself for how hard we have dug in this season. I have ridden Ballina a lot lately which has done good things for me too. She is a smaller horse with less extravagant gaits then Val and so it really provides me with an avenue to work on sitting more correctly and using my body in a more effective way. I am finally starting to feel half halting from the core of my body while its parts are becoming more independent of each other. Every time I ride her I understand her more and more. Her differences from Val are not as great as I previously thought and I see the overlap more and more. They are both ‘hot’ temperament wise (sensitivity), although Ballina is a horse who needs a “woah” while Val always has to be pushed to “go”, which is teaching me to be clear and effective but strong and consistent with my aids. When I ask for something I have to mean it and demand that it happens otherwise I have to correct right then – quick corrections and don’t be afraid to be a little firm about it! Ballina is definitely teaching me that, otherwise she snowballs downhill and it is so much harder to get her back to a good place. Val and I have been together so long that I sometimes cut him slack where I shouldn’t and I don’t notice him snowballing until it is a massive problem. Ballina is helping me ride Val for every stride and every footfall and opening my eyes to my ‘kindness’ which translates to ineffective leniency.
I had a cruddy ride last Tuesday on Val because, for one reason or another, I was really tense. We were working out freestyle patterns and for some reason I could just not ride. It really shows me how my attitude and mental game really does affect the way Val goes. He was trying so hard for me, but I just could not get it together. My tension really translated badly into the ride even though we got through it together. I am just thankful that I don’t get nervous before showing, because I know that Val would really feed negatively off of that. This just shows me that I have to stay in the right frame of mind as we enter the final stretch towards the last week of July.
Wednesday me and one of my Junior competitors hung out and did a horse swap ride! Christina is one of my favorite competitors and such an amazing friend. I hope that she will be able to come to NAJYRC with us, this year as a groom and next year as a rider! Her horse Navarro is such a nice ride, and it was such a cool experience to be able to sit on a horse that Val and I compete against. I have a new appreciation for not only what I have but the quality of horses we are up against!
For the rest of the week I had great rides though! Maybe we both just needed a play-day to get our heads back on. He has just been working so hard for me and I am so in love with him and the sport. This summer has been a wonderful time to really dive into the horse world and it has just shown me that there is no going back! This is all that I want to do and I am so passionate about it. I just want to keep working harder and getting better and going farther!
We also met with Miracle Music Freestyle’s to talk about my Jr Freestyle this weekend. Although we pulled awesome scores with my homemade freestyle at the last show there is a lot that needs to be changed to really be able to use it at NAJYRC. They are amazingly talented people and I will keep you all updated as that progresses! We filmed the new choreography on Saturday, and it is a lot tougher too but I really like it!
On the T-shirt front the new page is now fully functional! Please help us get to not only NAJYRC but the Festival of Champions – Gladstone! As of now, today, we are ranked 3rd in the country!
The Lord said rest of the 7th day, and so Val obeyed and got the day off yesterday! Out to ride by myself today and then off to do half a million other things as we get ready for the shows! I apologize for the lack of updates, but I am trying! :D