The Circle of Death

Last night’s (really really ridiculous cold, seriously WTF IS UP WITH THIS CRAP why is it freezing in November in Texas? I don’t have the right clothes for this!) jumping lesson featured the circle of death. Of course like pretty much everyone I’ve done this exercise a million times before but honestly very very little with Henry.

With just poles we nailed it very easily. As soon as the jumps came up our inconsistent pace issue was highlighted in bright yellow. It took me a couple tries to really get a feel for the pace I needed – I always want to whoa too much – but we got it and I think it’s really a great exercise for me with this horse. Then we cantered some single jumps, working on squaring the corner a bit and getting very straight while keeping a good pace and rhythm. He was great, we got the point of it, so we quit with that. I didn’t even bother asking Trainer to get video since I figured the Circle of Death with little jumps wasn’t very interesting. Or at least not interesting enough to remove hands from gloves and pockets. On Saturday we have another jumping lesson and my picture taking friend is feeling a lot better so hopefully she’ll be able to come out and get some visuals.

In the mean time – we’re only a week away from our first event! I’m feeling pretty calm and reasonable about it, except for that 5% of me that’s occasionally goes

I finally learned my dressage test (BN Test B, why you gotta be so awful?) and started making lists of what all I need to do over the next week to get ready. I may or may not have stalked the entries list to see who else is entered… I’ve got some serious competition. The good thing about feeling a little bit outclassed is that I tend to feel less pressure and take it less seriously, which ends up working out a lot better in the end. Hopefully I can stay that way.


1) Remember dressage test

2) Stay in the ring

3) Don’t fall off

3) Remember the stadium course

4) Don’t get eliminated

6) Remember the XC course



I want a number, not a letter.

Don’t worry mom, I got this!


24 thoughts on “The Circle of Death

  1. I love the circle of death, glad you guys had success!
    Sending you LOTS of good luck and general bad-assery for your HT next weekend! You and Henry will kick butt and get that number 🙂


  2. Haha, remember your course! Don’t get eliminated! Those should have been my goals for the last show- whoops! Anyways, that’s exciting that your show is coming up! I bet it’ll be great! 😀


  3. Hope temps get back to normal for you soon!
    I too hate the cold, but accept it as a fact of life for where I live. Must be quite a shock to the system for Texas. Sorry not helping, but in the bright side it opens up a whole new equine market for you to explore the winter wardrobes & moar reviews of products ♡♡♡
    The weather is the enabler…not me!


  4. My goals for my first event: try not to die. Then again, I am especially talented at getting eliminations, so I guess at least my current goal is an attainable one…
    Good luck with the preparations!! You guys rock!


  5. glad you had a productive lesson despite the weather!! and wishing you allllll the best of luck next week! i’d also add one more goal: have FUN! (and watch out for random mud puddles… according to isabel they eat horses lol)


  6. Yay!! Can’t wait to hear how the event goes 🙂 I totally need to break out the circle of death on mine soon as it’s something I can actually do with my limited jump poles in my tiny arena!


  7. BN test B IS pretty weird. I don’t know why. I think it’s the fact that you cross the diagonal so many times, and it doesn’t feel quite symmetrical to me. I definitely couldn’t memorize it without the app on my phone, get it if you don’t already have it! I cannot memorize written tests and love to “play” the visual of the test where the horse goes around the arena with different colored lines.


    1. I memorized it in just a few minutes, it’s just… weird. Doesn’t seem to flow as well? I dunno. The last few movements seem like someone went “Oh crap, we still need to include this and this and this!” and stuck it all in there as an afterthought. And I really hate the across the diagonal then immediately into right lead canter part. For a horse that tends to fall in on his right shoulder anyway, that’s a really bad one for us. And the short weird free walk stuck on the end followed by just a little bit of trot before the halt. Boo.


      1. Yeah, I know what you mean about the right canter, although I find it kind of beneficial, because I can do a couple of steps of pseudo-leg yield to get him off of his right shoulder right at the end of that diagonal and ask him to step off into the canter from there. The end, though, that’s just awkward. The medium walk after the free walk and before the trot was the worst part of my ride at both Fox River Valley and Jump Start HT. I have no impulsion, and Connor throws his head straight up in the air. My best scores on that final trot were when I did rising trot the entire test but sat the trot around the corner for some weird reason (forgot to post?) I know that’s sort of a faux-pas to do both, but it was the most balanced through that turn he’s ever been and the scores reflected that.

        Liked by 1 person

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