late season replacements

I found out two nights ago that there is a local schooling show about 15 minutes away from us on Sunday.  Our assistant trainer casually dropped it to me in conversation along the lines of “so if you wanted to go, of course I’d bring you!” and I was like.

Um duh.

After our last rated event I was looking at the end of the year a bit forlornly.  I didn’t have any money left for me to head to events, rated or otherwise, and all the dressage schooling shows for the end of the year were cancelled.  Even beyond goal smashing, I had hoped to get a little more show miles for Mr. Horse so he could stop losing his cool every time we go to a show.  There is only space in this relationship for ONE PERSON to lose their cool, Murray.

Fortunately, Murray has proven to me that he is completely prepared for this weekend’s show by spooking wholly and heartily at every single Hallowe’en themed item our assistant trainer has put in the arena.

Yep. This bodes well.

But show miles are show miles, and even if all we do is go in there and smash down every fence, I will be happy (happy-adjacent, anyway).  Getting Murray more experience in the show ring and learning how to ride the Murray that shows up in the stadium arena is important.  Often stadium-Murray is a different horse from home-jump-lesson-Murray, and he requires a different ride.  So understanding that ride is probably going to be important for future shows.  More arrows in the quiver and what not.

There’s also a late season dressage schooling show that I just found out about in the third week of November.  And that is something to get excited about.  Dressage ride after dressage ride after dressage ride?  MURRAY’S FAVOURITE THING.

I’m not kidding anyone here — the only tests we are qualified to run are training level tests.  But it will be awesome to get in there and run Training 1-3 and see how we do.  Definitely didn’t download those tests in January and close to memorize them.  Definitely not.  Do we have every single movement?  Nope.  Can we do almost all of them?  Yep.  Also, goal relativity: it’s just about being relaxed and obedient in the ring, not about winning ribbons or big achievements.

So this is pretty exciting.

In other exciting news, last week we taught the Peanut mare to jump!  It was shockingly easy.  I walked her up to lots of jumps and she was like “whatever”, and then over single poles and piles of poles with absolutely no event.  The next day we trotted over some small Xs, and then cantered, and Peanut was like “oh this! this is great!”

Mare don’t care

She’s a pretty professional, classy lady. Once again, it is super awesome to work with a horse that is so reasonable and learns so well.  She is pretty much the exact opposite ride to Murray, though!  Peanut is so gung-ho to get to all the fences that I need to rate her striding so she doesn’t accidentally just smash through them without thinking.  Murray is more “please Murray, let’s just goooooooooooo to this fence, great jobs!”  Very interesting.

I joke that I’m going to keep Peanut and sell Murray instead, in a Houdini-like switcheroo.  At least, I think I’m joking.