I will be going into this weekend with a couple things on my mind.
First and foremost, REGARDLESS of the outcome, this is being used as a 'schooling' to get a basic starting point from where we move on from here. I mentioned before - I am not going to give a shit if we trot the whole XC course. I want this to be a fun fun fun, POSITIVE EXPERIENCE for Chester as it is his first event...ever. I can worry about all the other stuff after. AND - I have to remember that we only started jumping again last Tuesday, which means that we are going into the weekend with less than 2 weeks of preparation after a 3 month 'vacation'. I know I know - what the hell is wrong with me. HA!
I am going into this weekend thinking a couple different things: RELAXED, IN FRONT OF MY LEG, FORWARD. With those things on repeat in my brain - we will be fine.
Someone just told me today - just think about it this way - a month ago, you never thought you would be eventing this summer and now look at you! They couldn't be more right.
We had a GREAT Lesson last night! He was jumping well - but he was catching his legs on a couple of the jumps - which was concerning to me. He also stopped (twice) at a scary superman jump. I was concerned about that too...Not to the boss though. She said 'He's green, remember? And he has had 3 months off, remember? If he still is doing stuff like that in a year - then we can get upset."
Things I learned last night that will be detrimental to our success on a go forward basis.
1. FORWARD and In Front of Your Leg - are two very different things
2. More Impulsion from behind (his, not mine) will make my job easier
3. When I ask - and once he has responded - I have to give
4. In Front of my leg = steady hands = self carriage on Chester's part = happy Horse, happy Boss, happy Carrie
5. A Bigger then normal release - For Now - until he starts to get his form back more
6. MORE CANTER IS NEEDED - When I think it is enough - add more
At the end of our lesson, Joyce said something to me that made me more happy and more importantly confident then I have felt in a long time... "He is going better now then he ever has, even before he got hurt.
The plan for the next couple days is pretty unchanged from yesterday. Tonight - we are going to hack - he can do whatever he feels like doing (as long as he is not being stupid) and we are going to go for a gallop... :) Boss says to let him 'have the night to be a horse, have fun with him and open him up"...so, that's what we are going to do.
Tomorrow night - we are going to just hack again for 30 minutes or so and practice our halts...that's right, we are going to practice halting.
Friday - we are xcing it up....woot!
Saturday - light school - ride the dressage test again and then it is an afternoon at the spa for The Pickle.
I don't know what is going to happen on Sunday. But, regardless of the outcome - I know that I will never have been more proud of my horse in my life....