Well, it is official. I have printed and completed my entry to Jump Start Horse Trials, my first recognized event since October 2007! I haven't mailed the entry yet, since I'm waiting for a paycheck to come in next week, so my check won't bounce all over the KHP. But, plans are in place and I am getting the pony on track.
Yesterday, we started our regular jump schooling in earnest. My jump schools the past year or so have been irregular and, basically, non-existent. I have not had the financial stability to entertain thoughts of show schedules and recognized events. When I don't have a hard deadline for a competition, things just kind of float along and happen or don't happen (as is usually the case). We haven't been completely sitting on our arses, but my schooling and preparation has been haphazard without a solid end goal. Eddie is 17 this year, so I don't jump him a lot when there is no reason to, and I've just not been able to prioritize competitions of late. That will all change at the end of September!
We're off to a good start in our return to jumping, at least. We jumped all the things and I didn't fall off, so I was thrilled. You might think those are small victories, but you don't know Eddie! In our school last evening, Eddie got things started with the "fake sore foot" scheme (which he's done before, but now I'm wise to). After I warmed him up a bit....just to make sure it wasn't a "real sore foot," he soon forgot all about that ploy and he focused on the "sideways skitter away from my leg" maneuver. Once we worked through his fussiness on the flat, things were looking good to pop over a crossrail. No big deal, just back and forth over a crossrail at the trot and canter, both ways. I then added a turn to a small vertical, going around from one to the other in a modified Figure-8 pattern. I trotted the turns or allowed him to trot through the transition, not asking for flying changes or anything fancy-shmancy like that, at this point. He is stiff and blocky right now since I'm just now getting us into a regular routine, but this isn't our first time to the game, so we ultimately know what we need to do. We just need some miles before we show our faces in Lexington next month. Add in a few lessons and a cross-country school soon, and we just might find we are actually prepared for our event and might even be competitive. Although.....no need to get ahead of ourselves or anything. We did bust out a 45 in our schooling dressage test last weekend. I guess I just look at it as a sign of "needs improvement," and that's why the pony got pulled out of the pasture. Practice, practice, practice!