In my other, non blogged about life, I’m a manager at our county animal shelter. The pay isn’t great, but the trade off is that it’s something I am passionate about and enjoy, so that makes up for not having a surplus of cash in my bank account. I can typically afford two recognized events a year before I am officially out of money for eventing and need to start saving again.
Well, for some reason this year I have decided to do a third event. Why? Because it’ll be fun and I will get to try my hand at the Training 3 Day. But this event is in California. Which means more travel, more time away from work and more of an expense because it is the 3 Day. In fact, for the first time ever, I gasped when I saw the entry fees.
And then I hemmed and hawed about going. And then I thought about what it would be like if I didn’t go. And I KNEW I would regret it. So, I’m going! Somehow I will scrape the money together and make it happen. But here is the thing. If I am going to have my horse travel to Cali and pay all this money to do it, we are going to bring our A game. And I’m not talking about placing well, I’m talking about being prepared and competitive. No losing my brain in show jumping and no letting her careen around in dressage.
So, how will I prepare for this? Well, personally I feel that watching my xc video from Rebecca about 20 times is a good way to start. Here, you can see for yourself: http://www.rideonvideo.net/watch.php?vid=12173e56e
Now that I have accomplished that piece of meaningless prep I can move on to really preparing. I’m strengthening my back, abs and quads, all weak links that need to be stronger in order to be in the saddle for the fitness day of the event. I’m working on my overall position in what I call “hell position lessons,” as well as when I am riding on my own. I’m getting Georgie fitter, by doing some serious conditioning rides and trot sets. I’m working on my sitting trot so I can have effective aids during dressage.
And the mental game. I need to work on my mental game and preparing for my rides and warm up well before I am actually there riding or warming up. I think organizing the next day in my head BEFORE I start drinking the night before will be super helpful.
I am going to be competing with pros and highly accomplished riders in my division and therefore refuse to think about where I place. Also, the dressage test has some movements that will be a challenge for us. The last part of the fitness test is at a higher speed than we’ve ever done. And we’ve never done a steeple chase. So, my goal is to be well prepared, ride the best I can, and finish the event happy about all three phases. Honestly, it was the worst feeling finishing SJ at Rebecca and thinking “Wow. I rode like shit.” I don’t ever want to feel that way again, especially when I am spending lots of money for the opportunity to compete at such a great event.
So I’ll bring my A game, and it should be an amazingly fun experience.