Tuesday, October 7, 2014

2014 Show Season Reflections

One of my biggest goals at the beginning of the year when I finally brought Bobby back into full work was to do everything in my power to set us up for a successful go at Training this year. However, I pretty quickly reevaluated not just that goal, but my actual desire to move up. I decided that if it happened, it happened, but in the meantime I was going to scrap my beautiful schedule and just do whatever sounded like fun.

And that's exactly what I did!

I'm not technologically advanced enough to make fun graphics, but I do love me some bullet points.

This year, Bobby and I did:
  • 4 western events
    • Barrels, keyhole, and trail at the barn show
    • Poles, keyhole, and barrels at WRC
    • Poles, keyhole, barrels, and handy horse at SVC
    • Keyhole and barrels at the Benton Rodeo
  • 3 dressage shows at First Level
    • Champion at WRC in May
    • Reserve Champion and High Point at Dalton in June
    • Champion again at WRC in September
  • 4 horse trials at Novice
    • Average dressage score of 31.31
    • One rail pulled in stadium
    • One retirement in stadium
    • One runout, two refusals on cross country
all of which made for a good ribbon haul!

Without a doubt, our biggest weakness was tension. The work at home did not carry over off property. We'd start schooling some second level movements, and then couldn't get through a leg yield at a show. We made huge improvements to our show jumping, but once in the ring at an event Bobby would revert to deer leaping and cantering in place.

"put your ears up for this cookie, bobby."
"ears....up? i don't understand."

I gained a few valuable insights this year:
  • Dressage warm up needs to be longer and more focused. Not only that, but he has to go immediately into the ring without a walk break. He doesn't stay focused enough to stop working, walk, and then pick the trot back up to into the ring. 
  • We need to do two million and a half jumping rounds off property next year. The forward, relaxed, big step he gives me at home disappears at a show. So we are definitely doing hunter and/or jumper shows next year. I don't care about the height--the height doesn't bother either one of us--it's the lack of forward, flowy relaxation that bothers us.
  • Novice cross country is boring. Totes boring now. That. Is. AWESOME. Now to get that stupid fucking stadium under control so I can go be scared about Training cross country for a few years. 
official barn shirt picture didn't happen thanks to lack of posing skills

Overall, this was without a doubt our most successful year ever. Not only that though, it was also the most fun I've ever had showing. I love doing western events, and Bobby definitely enjoyed the change up from strict riding rules to "Run and turn really fast. It's okay that you don't really have brakes!" However, I also really like dressage (the horror, I know) and being able to concentrate on that for a large portion of the year was fun for me. Probably not quite so much for Bobby.

BUT.

The true success this year?

One hundred percent barefoot and sound for every single show this season with me being his trimmer. Where's my trophy?

31 comments:

  1. GO CARLY AND BOBBY! You had an awesome, awesome year. :)

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  2. Great, great year!! :D
    Love the barefoot/trimming accomplishment... good job :)

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  3. Woot woot! What a great show season you guys had!
    And kudos to the soundness all year: a sound Bobby is a happy Bobby :)

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  4. What a successful year full of accomplishments! I know you're all fun and games, but you and Bobby put in serious work this year and it paid off. Congratulations on a seriously awesome satin haul!! :D

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  5. congrats on an excellent year and loads of satin! i love that you focused on what was fun for you guys, rather than keeping a very 'by the book' schedule. hopefully adding in the h / j shows will get you the results you need for stadium! nicely done on the barefoot too :)

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  6. I loved following your year, so happy for you and your success!

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  7. Sounds like an awesome year!! this is really random but I love how his bridle looks on him.

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  8. That is so awesome!! Congrats on a great year! And we're definitely on the same page regarding Novice... looking forward to eventually being terrified of Training XC! :D

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  9. I'm so impressed with your ability and willingness to take over Bobby's hoofcare. So glad I love my farrier, because just the thought of doing it myself is HORRIFYING.

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  10. Way to go! What an enormous satin haul you had!

    And WTG Bobby!

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  11. Wohoo congrats! Bummer show season is over, but I'm looking forward to following you and Bobby again next year! And not only kudos for trimming him yourself, but for having a barefoot tb

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  12. Congrats on a great year and excellent hoofmanship ;)

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  13. I can make you a trophy! :D Seriously though not the intended the results are awesome plus gave you awesome insight.

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  14. Great year! It was a ton of fun following along with all your showing fun this year. Congrats on a super successful season!

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  15. Awesome reflections, and a huge congrats on being your own barefoot trimmer. I've been doing that for years now, and my horse has never been sounder, and my wallet has never been happier. My knuckles and my back on the other hand ... ;)

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  16. You do deserve a trophy for barefoot and sound for shows, or at least a blog badge! What a great show season, and I think the off-property schooling and hunter shows sounds like a good plan for next year.

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  17. YEAH'S all around, great job you two!

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  18. Love this! You guys have kicked ass and deserve all that pretty satin.

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  19. Such an awesome year all around! Congrads to you for just "having fun" and kicking ass while you were at it!

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  20. LOVE the ribbon collection photo! I think I may need to save all my ribbons next year to do a copycat photo! Great job on such a wonderful show season.

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  21. You guys did have an awesome year....good job!!

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  22. You two have had such a great year! I love hearing all the fun stories, but you two are legitimately fabulous together. Cheers to being your own farrier as well!

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  23. Wow what a great year you had! I really relate to many of your struggles. It can be frustrating having a very talented horse that does amazing things in training at home but can't keep it all straight in his head when he gets in a show environment. But it sounds like you have found what works and are headed in the right direction.

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  24. Congrats!! What an amazing year and woohoo soundness!

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  25. Jeez, I did miss a lot! CONGRATS! And and even bigger congrats for the barefoot!!!!

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  26. SO MANY COLORS! And so striking on his dark coat! Congrats you two! And congrats on being sound all year! I remember that being a pretty big goal early on, super awesome!

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  27. Just catching up on blogs... 1. I love your new puppy. 2. Congrats on a fun show season and I love those pictures! 3. I'm super super impressed that you were able to keep your horse sound while trimming him yourself! I would cripple my horse in one trim, heh.

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  28. Sounds like you guys had a great year!

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  29. Looks like you two had a fun, wonderful year filled with satin! I had no idea you trimmed him yourself, kudos to you for keeping him sound while doing so.

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  30. Congratulations on everything, ESPECIALLY novice XC being boring. That is an awesome feeling!

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