Baby Grid

When I went out to the barn on Friday, the Eventer had set up a grid in the middle of the ring.  By the time I got the Kid all tacked up and was ready to ride, she was warmed up to the point of starting to take the grid.  I haven't worked a grid in a million years and am incredibly rusty and I wasn't sure what the point of this one was.  I guess to slow him down, because he flew through it.  The striding seemed funny to me and I heard her explain to her husband that it was set up to be a trot grid, but that her horse was cantering as soon as he cleared the first crossrail.

The last fence was set to what I think might be 2''6'.  Her horse cleared it with room to spare, cracking his back and almost jumping her out of the tack.  I was super impressed, because he's only been back in work a month or two.  They had to reset the last fence and move it closer to the second-to-last, because he was bouncing the two, but only had a long spot on the last one.  She told me a story of when she had a German trainer and was working another bounce/grid/spread thing.  She said the two fences were 17" apart (I think?) and her horse jumped it as one jump.  I think I can like her because she did a hilarious impersonation of her trainer going, "HOLY SCHITTTT!"

Meanwhile, Archie and I just worked on forward and contact.  I'd been riding him in my old saddle pad combination - a wicking pad and a half pad - because I'd hand-cleaned the Contender II and it was a bitch to dry.  And then I sorta forgot about it.  So, Archie was pitching a fit when I asked him to canter and was counter-cantering.  Some of this was because I derped on cues, but I think he also appreciates the Contender II.  On Friday, I switched back to the Contender II and we had nice, easy leads.  Good boy.
Y'all review fancy britches.  I review thongs.

Saturday was a clusterfuck.

The in-laws came to town, as well as the grand-in-laws.  I think my threshold was met at the last visit and I had nothing left in me with which to be nice.  I also told D that he misled me.  The impression that he gave me was that everyone would come for lunch and then everyone would leave.  That would have been awesome.  No coming to our house, no walking in to his grandmother randomly in our fucking bedroom, no having to watch every time someone opened a door that neither a dog was let in nor a cat let out.  Also, no one knocks.

Then he tells me that his parents are coming to the house.  Why?  To fix something.  For three hours.  And then, oh yeah, his grandparents are coming to the house, too.  Why?  Don't know.  When I told him that was fine, I would be going to the barn, he said I couldn't.  Because he was on call and had to see patients, so I needed to be there to greet them.  It turned out that he got home in time.  So, yeah, lots of short tempers and lots of wanting to hide.

By the time I got out to the barn, I was pretty drained.  I'd gone running that morning and worked out at the gym after everyone left.  The grid had been left up, so I dropped everything to ground poles.  Archie and I had some nice work - trying to get the same feel of the trot that I get when I'm with T3.  And worked on having an adjustable canter.  I feel like I'm going to need that sooner rather than later.

The grid was set up as a series of trot poles (and cavalettis) to a jump, then two more jumps spaced out.  I remembered from the times that I had set up trot poles at the Old Barn that the biggest issue we had was not enough pace going in to them.  So I made sure to push Archie before we hit the first trot pole.  We nailed it all but one time.  After going through everything as just poles a few times, I set the last fence up as a crossrail.  I still felt like something was wanky with the distance in the middle, so we did it a couple times and ended on a good note.

My plan is to jump some tonight, flat tomorrow, and lesson with T3 on Wednesday.  Then Archie will have Thursday through Sunday off while I'm getting old and drunk in DC.  Monday, I hope to spend a lot of time at the barn.  I took the day off work.  I've got to figure out what still fits from my show clothes, pull his mane and clean up his face, and possibly go ahead and clean all of my tack.  Also the matter of figuring out where the fitted saddle pad is and if I can squeeze my half-pad under it.
I love this.
Because it's been confirmed.

Unless the Eventer's schedule changes, we'll be going to the show on the 19th of October.  And possibly the next one in November.  I appreciate all the affirmation that I should do this, that this isn't something silly.  Any tips for pre-show jitters will be appreciated.  Historically, I turn into a giant mega-bitch and freak out.  This time, I'm thinking a Xanax and maybe a beer.

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  1. Visualize your courses pre-show. Drink wine. Remember that no matter what happens, someone has done the exact same thing before :)

  2. Aww, snap! It's fucking show time! I can't wait for that post!!

    And I extend my sympathies towards having to deal with in-laws. Worst shit ever.

  3. Oh man my show nerves are bad.. so no advice here!

    You guys are going to do awesome!

    My birthday is this week too! :)

  4. Yes to the xanax and beer. But perhaps not at the same time.

  5. Happy birthday! Just say yes to liquid courage... ;D

  6. Just try to breathe :-) You guys will do great!