I have a few major goals this year that pertain to showing, and they are pretty much all geared towards getting me and Murray in sync when we jump or dressage at a new place. This is our greatest shortcoming. If Murray is feeling good and confident, we’re fine! I can handle that. I can handle enthusiastically forward, I can handle bucking with feels, I can handle him being a little bit backed off or behind my leg. What I have so far failed to handle, especially in the context of a whole course, is when he is scared and getting a little shut down. That I am not so good at handling.
I would also like to be able to show in one of the many venues California has to offer. I mean, we can run around XC at CEPF until the day we die, but that doesn’t mean we are going to have a successful run at a different show with different challenges. I’m interested in being able to handle all of those challenges. So with that in mind, here’s my proposed show schedule for this year. I color-coded by jumper, dressage, or event.
February 7 — Jumper show at WSS (possible)
March 6 — Jumper show at WSS (unrated) — 2’6″, 2’9″
March 19 — Combined Test at WSS (unrated) — Beginner Novice
March 18,19 — March Mania Dressage at Rancho Murieta (rated) — T-3, 1-1
March 20 — Pacific Equestrian Center Schooling Show (unrated) — T3, 1-1, 1-2
April 16, 17 — Horse Trials at CEPF (unrated) — Beginner Novice
April 24 — Pacific Equestrian Center Schooling Show (unrated) — T3, 1-1, 1-2
May ?? — Event Derby at UCD (unrated) — Beginner Novice
May 13, 14, 15 — Starr Vaughn Dressage (rated) — T3, 1-1, possibly 1-2
May 27, 28, 29 — Woodside Horse Trials (rated) — Beginner Novice
July 9, 10 — Dressage at Pacific Equestrian Center (rated) — T3, 1-1, 1-2
September 11 — Pacific Equestrian Center Schooling Show (unrated) — T3, 1-1, 1-2
September 24, 25 — Hiskens Horse Trials (unrated) — Novice
October 9 — Pacific Equestrian Center Schooling Show Championships (unrated) — wtf they have coolers and neck ribbons! shut the front door!
October 21, 22, 23 — Fresno County Horse Park Horse Trials (rated) — Novice
November 18, 19, 20 — Fresno County Horse Park Horse Trials (rated) — Novice
November 12, 13 — Starr Vaughn Dressage (rated) — T3, 1-1
Shows in Italics are the ones that only might happen, so I have my sights set on fewer shows than are actually on this schedule. And there aren’t even any rated dressage shows (one of my goals… oops) that are more than “maybes”, but looking at the shows available to me it seemed like it might behoove me to show at a few unrated shows before trying to bust out my rated dressage show chops. But perhaps I can squeeze a rated show in there at the end of the year.
I would like to show at Camelot (April), because it’s awesome, I love it there, we school there all the time, and I need some redemption on that XC course. And Woodside (May) is, believe it or not, one of the cheaper places in California for me to show at, despite the astronomical costs of getting there and schooling there, because my parents live close enough nearby that I can void all hotel costs. In a perfect world I’d get a bit more time between Camelot and Woodside but I have some external travel plans that make that impossible… so if I’m going to show Woodside, it has to be in May. Woodside is going to be a challenging show environment for both of us, as it’s busy, has lots of people there, and neither of us has been there much. But it’s the good kind of challenge, and while their BN course is solid, it’s essentially the same as what we jumped (most of) at Camelot last year.
My hopeful plans to move up at the end of the year… well, we’ll see how that goes. I’m pretty interested in keeping Murray confident and happy, but I do want to push things a little bit. So I picked Hiskens as a move up in September, as they are known for having a slightly softer course with a few legitimate Novice questions. Another place that Murray and I have never shown, and they have grass dressage courts (terrifying). After that, I’d like to try showing at Fresno at Novice, which is also a pretty good move-up course — not super challenging terrain- or environment-wise, and not too expensive. I am not tied to the goal of moving up. If my lack of experience showing means that we can’t, then we can’t. Then we just ride those venues at BN instead of Novice. It’s not like I’m running out of time
To 2016! Onward and upward.