Whitney Weston

Whitney Weston Eventing

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Try #1

Well, I got 2/3 of my first advanced done, and done well! Lusty was really relaxed in the dressage. We need to work on the timing of our flying changes, but overall I was very happy with her. In the show jumping I was thrilled with both of us. I kept my cool and lusty jumped great. There were 2 jumps where I held a little too much with my hand and got 2 rails, but just plane thrilled! The next day was xc, and I admit I was nervous, not about the actual course, but about the pressure of it. There had been a lot leading up to this event, I had been waiting all my life to go advanced, felt like everyone was watching, and put a ton of pressure on myself to finish. Every athlete knows this is a recipe for disaster. To perform your best, you must be "in the moment" and able to think on a dime. My internal monologue was "no worries, just finish, get one under your belt". I was telling this to myself in an attempt to keep cool, but the effect it had on me was to dull my senses and tense up. My usual monologue is "get straight, ride through the flags, support with leg, get the right canter for the fence at hand". Should have stuck with that! The biggest thing I realized after this weekend is that advanced is not the crazy move up from intermediate that I had always thought it to be. Yes, there is a lot more asked in the dressage, the show jumps are higher and more technical, as well in the xc. But one must remember:  it is still the same game. I didn't need to approach the competition any different than I usually do. I realized this when I was in warmup later in the day with Fizzy; I was chatting and joking with people like normal, feeling relaxed and confident. Ahah! well, there we go, chill it out dude!

I have to remember the learnings and successes of each day, even though the result on some is not what was hoped. Fizzy was amazing in Prelim, finishing a challenging weekend on her dressage score in 5th place. Buck was really pleased as well, she is now aimed for the ocala 1*! Thomas is getting more confident at training as well. good pony.

On sunday, BDJ brought back the "naughty pony trailer" full of horses who had had issues on the weekend. Coincidentally all of them had eliminated at corners! Buck was so awesome to come and coach us; he was flying to TN the next morning for surgery to fix his collarbone. We warmed up a bit then did the first part of the course. There was a large table then the two evil left handed corners. Over the table lusty drifted left, then ran out at the first corner. AHAH! Buck told me that if she's drifting left on a table, we might just be in trouble for a large left handed corner....duh.... So we also fixed the canter and did the corners and got it right away! After everyone was good with that we put it in the course. Lusty was fantastic and I am confident we would have done well on the whole course after the corners. While it was annoying we didn't get it right on the day, we were very fortunate to come back and have this learning experience. My instinct was to drive up to Pine Top the next weekend and give advanced another go, I am so eager to prove I can do it! Buck advised to wait, practice a bit more, then do Advanced at Red Hills. So this week is a little rest, then gear it back up! Here is lusty and my show jump, good girl!

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