Last year I forwent having any specific show goals because I knew that time and money would be in short supply pretty much all year. And they were, so I was very happy when we managed to sneak out to just two schooling shows. This helped me be nice and relaxed and, I hope, put Murray’s happiness and welfare first throughout the season, because I wasn’t constantly pushing to show, or thinking that I should be trying to move up (and therefore letting my crazy ideas of what I should be doing/training get in the way of what I should actually have been doing/training).
This year, a lack of specific show goals has made me lazy. Any time the weather is in the least bit unpleasant, I’m inclined to turn Murray out or just feed him a bucket, pat him, and play with puppies in favor of riding. Sometimes this is eminently justifiable: often Murray benefits more from some supervised indoor turnout with friends than spazzing around with me in dressage tack. When the wind and hail are coming in sideways and the entire arena is creaking and groaning, no productive ride is going to happen, because I become as much of a hot, spooky mess as my horse. But in the grand scheme of my goals for Murray, to continue educating and turning him into a good horsey citizen, this doesn’t get us very far. And I do want to show this year. So I had to commit to a show.
I decided a few weeks ago that I would shoot for the HT at Fresno County Horse Park at the end of April, giving me plenty of time (part of Feb, all of March, and all of April) to prep. But just this week, trainer told me that we would be schooling Twin Rivers first, and that despite being a little farther away, Twin was probably a better choice for us. There’s a conspicuous lack of train + buzzing power lines + piles of construction supplies roped off with caution tape that she thought would make both Murray and me happier. After hearing this, I tended to agree. I’ve never visited either facility, but construction and trains and power lines are a few things I could show without. At least until we suck a bit less.
So Twin it is – probably. We’ll school this weekend in an amazing stroke of luck (thanks kids for leaving an extra spot in the trailer for me!), and then I’ll send in my entry if all goes well.
Of course, that got me to thinking about prepping for the show, and with a couple of pre-scheduled vacations and important trips coming up, there are some how only four riding weeks between now and the show! AND ONLY TWENTY THREE RIDING DAYS.
Cue the panic.