That’s how it goes when you set a new goal, especially when horses are involved: it’s so far off, you’ll have plenty of time, and nothing could ever go wrong. Wasn’t it only a few days ago that our cohort started this journey January in Ocala, Fla., and then somehow all of the sudden here we are at our latest and final ”r” training session at Marilyn Payne’s beautiful Applewood Farm in Califon, N.J., May 7-8, going into deep focus on dressage?
Many of us, when we walk courses, have a routine. Things we look for, things we know will catch certain riders off guard, things we’re careful to point out to our students. Even the way we walk, the practiced length of our strides, the lines we take between fences. We think about this stuff from the rider or trainer’s perspective, carefully honed over years of walking, thinking about, and riding courses. Time, and experience.
As I suspect is the case for many event riders, I have a recurring nightmare about dressage. I’m walking out of the ring at an event, where I’ve just ridden the test of my life. So good, in fact, that on my way back to the trailer I’m already congratulating myself, bragging to friends that I’ve definitely scored in the teens.