Well, as Fresno seems to be rapidly approaching I have to say, I am getting less and less nervous and more and more excited! I'm sure that will change at some point but right now I am just stoked to be able to compete with Gatsby again. That horse is such a beast on XC, it's a huge privilege to get around with him.
I really want to be competitive at this show and make my money well-spent, not going for blue or anything but I want to make sure we perform the best that we are capable of. In doing so I have managed to spend even more money by signing up for some extra lessons and a dressage schooling show as well as buying some new show gear. I have to say, I am more than incredibly grateful to have such a wonderful supportive husband who totally understands that this is my passion and is fine with the time and money I spend on it.
Last weekend we had a really good jump school, worked some more on a grid and then did a serpentine exercise. Gatsby is jumping really well and I am feeling more confident on him. That's not to say that we don't have our issues though! I definitely ride better in the grid than I do to single fences and we have a really tough time getting a good spot to an airy vertical. This weekend we are going to do some XC schooling and then next week we will work on some courses to prep for the show.
On Sunday we had a dressage lesson with Ludgar. I always love riding with him, he is just so in tune to Gatsby. Unfortunately his lessons are pretty pricey so they don't happen often. We ran through my test and he gave me some really good information to get the most out of Gatsby. He said for the trot I really need to keep him moving VERY forward or else he has a tendency to look like he is not moving over his back. Also with the lengthened canter on the circle, always tough, he suggested I ride as if there's a jump on the opposite side of the circle to make sure I really keep the impulsion, this helped loads! If I get him in front of my leg during the regular canter circle and then do this for the lengthening he is spectacular. Ludgar said that his canter work is just as good as any of the horses out there which really pleased me as I have done a lot lately to get that gait to where it is. Unfortunately the same is not true of his trot work, he does go nicely but there is always going to be those warmbloods that outshine him in that area. Because of this it is really important that I not leave any points on the table with our canter and also with geometry.
Overall I think things are definitely going in a good direction! This week has been really busy for me at work so I won't get a chance to ride until tomorrow. He lives outside 24/7 now so a few days off here and there doesn't effect him like it used to which is great. We'll do some more dressage schools and a probably a conditioning day as well as an XC schooling this week.Then next week we will school courses and we have the dressage schooling show on Sunday. Really hoping that helps out with both of our nerves heading to the sandbox at the event.