Tryon Strategizing

As we get ready for our trip down south, we’ve been very carefully considering what the best options would be in terms of what classes we’ll do.

My original plan was just to pick one class every day at 0.90m or 1m and putter around and have fun. After Loudoun went so well, I figured we’d stick in the 1m since the height feels comfy for both of us.

But Loudoun really did go so well. Really well.

The ribbons are not the only proof of a great show but I ain’t mad about them

So I figured, why not go for it. Let’s do the full division and see if we can aim for a tricolor. It is super rare for someone to beat us on time (Francois is FAST), so if I can just help him keep those rails up, I think we have a solid shot at some good placings.

The only downside to this is that the Tryon schedule runs the Low Adult division with 2 classes on Saturday and 2 classes on Sunday. If you’ve been here for any length of time, you know that we are a One Class A Day Team. We get ready, we lay it down, we call it a day. So doing TWO in a day is definitely going to be an adjustment for both of us.

Like the time we did two equitation classes and he threw a massive tantrum (which in Frankie world means refusing to give me a lead change and ignoring all requests to change his stride even minimally. He really showed me.)

Physically, I’m not concerned. Frankie is in incredible shape fitness-wise and certainly has the stamina, and this height is very comfortable for him. I’ve been working out as well to help make sure my own strength and stamina is there to help him out as needed. In the spirit of being conservative, we’re going to stick with a short lesson on Wednesday, one warmup round at either 0.9m/1m on Thursday, a light hack Friday, then the division on the weekend. We were originally going to compete Friday, but I’d rather give him a light day so he can rest up and feel fresh going into the weekend. As always, we go for quality over quantity with our show schedules.

Mentally, we’re trying to prepare Francis for the possibility that he might have to *gasp* go back to work after a break. My lessons have involved me doing 80-90% of my lesson, then leaving the ring and acting like we’re done for the day. Then going back in and doing one more course. Just to get him used to the idea that done right now doesn’t necessarily mean done for the day. He’s been known to get cranky when he thinks he deserves a break. Thankfully he’s been a good egg about this, if a bit confused (side note – a good egg but confused is actually pretty representative of his day-to-day life). We’ll keep up this mental game so it should hopefully not be a huge surprise when we ask that of him at the show.

“Not that I mind, but why is there a second smaller human up there”

On the non-horse side, I’ve been hard at work building out an itinerary since this is also our summer family vacation! I think I’ve got a nice little menu of outdoor activities for the nice days, indoor activities if we need to beat the heat/rain, and restaurants to check out. If you have must-sees, definitely let me know! Lina is a super fun little traveler buddy, and we’re psyched for our longest trip to-date with her.

She is very very tall, and very very cute

I’ve got a solid packing list built out for us too (I may or may not have a standing spreadsheet that auto-updates quantities depending on length of stay and average temperature…), and have picked up a few new things – water shoes, an electric scooter (more on this later!!! It’s awesome!!!), and rocket ship shaped pins to hold my number on my saddle pad. You know, the essentials.

They’re guaranteed to make us faster, I’m 100% sure of it

The only thing left on my list is a pair or two of breeches – I used to have a glorious assortment, but I very much do not fit into that size anymore and have to build up a new collection. Anyone getting rid of size 28/30 show-quality breeches (tan or white, or a conservative dark color I can school in), I will happily send you money and take them off your hands! I’m cheap and dislike buying new, and I’d rather send money to friends.

T-11 days til liftoff!