Lessons!

Scanning through blogs and it looks like everyone is doing pretty well and I love it!

Brantley and I are still trying to stay consistent, or at least I am. You know he could absolutely care less than this point. What’s the best way to get back on track? LESSONS! We love learning. And we were finally able to take a lesson with JH from JH EVENTING! If you’re ever in Massachusetts looking to take a lesson or have a trainer out schooling with you on the cross-country course, call Jessica.

We started on the flat and Brantley was a bit wiggy and reluctant in the beginning. Probably due to the fact that last time we were in that arena we had a not-so-fun clinic experience and I got dumped… at a cross-rail. Deep. Any who! After we got moving it all of a sudden clicked what we were in for, especially after the first cross-rail. Brantley had his game face on after that.

We worked on straightness to the fences and after the fences since we have a tendency to cut our corners and find that short turn to the next fence… which never goes well. She had us doing a long combination to the arena fence line and halt, then follow up to the next fence which of course he refused in slow motion… Must keep pony between my legs! Funnel my reins! 

We got over that simple vertical and headed back across the diagnosis and popped over a flower box without a second look. After halting I pointed his nose to track right and headed around to throw next flower box. Boom! Perfect. We did that a few times and as the next lesson started to warm up she said, “Okay! I want you to do it again but after this last fence go down the quarter line and go over that.”

How did I know… And let me tell you. I was determined to get him up and over our first time. He had plenty of time to look at it and spook at it.
We did it…My little overachiever…

So I’d call that lesson a complete success and I’m feeling pretty good about this coming weekend’s horse trial. We had another lesson with EH a few days later for flatwork/dressage. I was hoping Brantley would be super soft and awesome like he has been… but he wasn’t. Super heavy on the forehand and focus on everything but me. We made it work and ended up having a pretty great lesson minus the fact how heavy my hands were. Just a bit disappointed in myself for that… things to work on! His focus was more to get him forward which is something oddly enough I’m having an issue with.

He’s become so good at getting under himself and relaxing in his poll and into the contact, but he stays so condensed almost like a spring. Then when I try to move him forward, everything tends to fall apart. So… forward forward forward it is. Let him find the contact and pick him up into it as his hind end comes under. We got this!

P.S. I really have to figure out WordPress before I give it up…

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Brantley & Brantley Weekend

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I’m running out of room for our numbers. I should probably check Pinterest before next weekend. Another trip to Course Brook with a more confident and badass head on both our shoulders.

Brantley luckily pulled himself together for my sake and was completely sound both riding days before our entries were due for yesterday’s horse trial at Orchard Hill Equestrian Center (which by the way is fucking b-e-a-uuutiful) and I was luckily able to sign up online so no Post Office B.S.

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Friday night was my annual Brantley Gilbert concert because… well… I have a problem but I only cried once! okay… maybe twice. But it wasn’t like an active cry… Just dramatic tears rolling down the cheeks kind of a thing. Yes I’m a fan girl but I’m okay with it. If you’ve been a follower you know what his music means and has helped me work through in the past (and probably present… and future).

Grasa and Morgan both came along for the trip and it was amazing. My horse world and non-horse world colliding together? Happily? Who would’ve thought. It was about a 4 hour drive up so obviously we were late but who wants to see the opening acts anyway! Per usual it was amazing and I was super giddy the whole time.We had originally planned to spend the night in New Hampshire but decided that it was still early enough that we’d get home by 2AM and that was fine… Until trying to get into Mass and finding all of the ramps to 95S were blocked off for construction… AAAALLLL OF THEEEMMM! We drove around for an extra hour. Plus add in a few stops and dropping M off, I got home maybe 3AM and I’m sure Gray got home 330AM. But it was worth waking up in our own beds… Or my mother’s floor. Same thing.

Saturday was a day to catch up on work and show prep. I didn’t end up riding but that was okay. I felt really good about what was to unfold Sunday… And I was right.

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Brantley had his total game face on and we pulled off a super dressage test, at least in our eyes. The score wasn’t my best but he was solid in his transitions (minus one) and was consistent in his pace and softness. I was totally happy with it and could’ve gone home, but of course, we have to do get through the fun stuff.

Click Here for Dressage Test Video

We hit the warm up ring and trotted around before hopping the cross-rail and little vertical. Of course Gray goes, “Are you going over the oxer?” Psh… Why not? So we did. Time for our stadium round ❤

Brantley was pretty much flawless for jump 1, 2, and 3A… But then came the short distance combination… He came out right before the oxer that was set for 3B. Dick. So we went around again… and again… and finally I was able to stop in between the jumps, line him up and hop the oxer from a walk almost. Then we continued on for a beautiful course. On our way out I dropped my reins and he tried to side pass over and take #1 again on the way out… Overachiever.

Click Here for Stadium Video

Unfortunately those refusals equaled and Elimination but luckily it’s a schooling show so we got to hit cross-country anyway. And boy did we hit it.

He was an absolute beast. A slow beast… But a beast anyway. He hit every jump and we even went up our first bank, over a bench, and through water. I can’t even deal. He was steady and listened down the hills and around the bends, locking in on everything. Both jumps he kind of gawked at were definitely my fault because I thought they would be scarier than they were of course. But he said, “No ma, I got this.” and took me through.

Click Here for XC GoPro Footage (because that’s the best)

(I apologize for the yelling…)

After we packed up and headed out I grabbed my dressage test and saw that although we didn’t score very well compared to others, we had been in 3rd place. A little disappointed that we had such an issue with the combination but only disappointed that I didn’t think of preparing for that, not in Brantley’s performance at all. He was everything I had hoped for and more. Course Brook on the 30th. Let’s kick some butt B!

Why…

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This is all I want to do lately.

I don’t know where my head is at or why I can’t seem to pick myself up lately. It’s not like anything has really gone completely wrong where it’s sent me spiraling down in the last couple of weeks. But I can’t say nothing has really gone right either. I mean, it’s the nature of the beast and yeah I should pop some pills to help my stability, but I’m just not ready for the step yet.

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At least things have gotten better and I’m getting through weeks versus a day or two.

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Unfortunately we’ve had a couple mysterious ailments and some lameness (and post office failure) so our last two adventures that I really looked forward to didn’t work out. My brain started to shut down and processing things became difficult because I started to feel a sense of loss and …purpose. That’s probably not the right word but its the only one I can think of right now.

Fortunately I was able to attend the hunter pace yesterday because a friend let me borrow her lesson horse and we had a blast. But of course I was still sad that it wasn’t Brantley. It’s hard to explain what the difference between being upset and feeling sad is, but I was just sad he couldn’t be there. And of course because of my mental state lately, it’s “sadder” than just sad. I don’t know, you either get it or you don’t.

I’m trying to stay up.

At least I’m still here.