Video by Patrick took some great videos of XC at Fair Hill on August 7 - if you see them at one of your shows, it's definitely worth the price for a great video and online posting! I have lots of dressage and show jumping videos, but this is a real treat to feel a bit like a 'Rolex rider' and have a jump-by-jump close-up shot of our performance. They missed a couple of jumps, including my "SHIT!" moment at the ditch, which I'm okay with. Video is such a learning opportunity - it's interesting to see the gallop quality degrade as Katchi and I got tired. Also to realize just how early I trotted before the steps (AH HA - so that's where my 30 seconds in time penalties went!!). And to see my little bobble forward between the steps. But overall, it's great to see a happy horse and happy rider galloping confidently across country. You always sort of wonder whether you look as good as you feel - and I'm relieved to say that for the most part, yep, we look pretty darn good. Enjoy the video!
Katchi is enjoying a few weeks off from competition until the fall season officially kicks off on Labor Day weekend. That's also nice because it gives me a little extra time to focus on my students. Next weekend, I'm at Difficult Run HT coaching a student on Saturday and then at the BEST Jumper Show on Sunday coaching another student. Meanwhile, Katchi and I have lots of homework to do over the next few weeks - including a potential bit change in both dressage and jumping. More to come as we try out several ideas to get his input on the matter - he's already cast one "No" vote. But I think I have a "yes" vote on another option that we'll try at our gymnastics clinic with Jimmy on Thursday to see if it's still a winner. One thing I've learned - never think you've found a bit for life. As a horse's education, training and confidence increase, always be willing to re-evaluate the best bit solution. Which could mean more bit - it could mean less bit. In Katchi's case, right now, it's not more or less - just different and better.