No matter what kind of horse it is, or what we choose to pursue as our sport. It's hard. So much of it tho is just showing up. Putting in the work. Plugging ever forward with that incremental, almost imperceptible progress. Doing the thing. ~Emma at Fraidycat Eventing
Sunday went better in some ways and not better in others. That morning I walked Carmen in the ring to stretch her legs. We stood by the ramp and scary corner while she stood calmly and tried to eat it (this is important later). I was worried that I had overdone the warm up on Saturday so I probably didn't warm up enough. It was hot and humid and I just wanted to get her bending and forward. So I made a plan and made sure I stuck to it.
Our warm up was good. By then she had identified a few spots to be wary of and I focussed on riding her through them. On our second warm up she actually did a little bolt in one of the spots. As I steered her around a circle I said 'really? Aren't you tired? Why would you be so silly at this point in the show? Since there was no tensing or me carrying on she quickly came back to me.
When I did my first trot down center line she halted at X and shot her head straight up. I knew then that we were in for a bit a discussion. For both tests she was nice and forward. Except for our first canter depart in our first test. I asked for the canter, she said no. I asked again, again the answer was 'no'. Since it's a schooling show, I schooled and gave her a smack with the crop. At which point she gave a big buck and leapt into canter. I burst out laughing- I mean what else could you do? After that there were no issues with the canter depart.
|coming around to the ramp- see her head coming up and she's|
falling behind the leg- photo by Joanne Kane
BUT the ramp was a big problem and she tried flatly refusing to go there. Again I schooled it. Our free rein work is a bit of a work in progress so it was not stellar but she stretched some so I was happy, I was able to build the stretch in the trot circle which was terrific.
|Better but starting to come up a bit. PC: Joanne Kane|
So out scores for both T1 and T2 were 63.something which netted us two Second place ribbons. But i was happy with them and felt that they reflected where we are at the moment. The judge was kind and gave us positive comments. She said that Carmen was a lovely horse with tons of potential and that I rode out her silliness well.
More importantly was how we did on our goals:
1. keep Carmen on the aids. If she spooks I want to recover pretty quickly. Stretch goal is to have no spooks. Use shoulder fore to help with this.
I was pleased with how I rode out her spooks. We had three tests with potential spooks that I averted so that was good. I'm calling this a win.
2. do not speak out loud in the show. I tend to talk to Carmen while I school so I need to make sure I don't lose points by doing that. Phrases that sometimes pop out of my mouth include (but are not limited to:
Laughing doesn't count (so there) :) I may or may not have spoken quietly to Carmen at the far end but since the judge couldn't hear it didn't happen.
3. Bend to the inside - even when tight. To do this I need to make sure that I don't clamp my outside thigh when she tenses (cue vicious cycle: she tenses, I clamp, she tenses more) but give her room to bend.
This was a sort-of win. There was some resistance to this in her spooky spots and I really tried. But I was pretty sure I didn't 'clamp', or if i did I let go. Calling this one a 'half-met' goal.
4. Help Carmen to stay straight and not throw her haunches in OR bend to the outside. Fix if that happens.
This came up in our second test on saturday. It also came up on Sunday- always down the far side heading to 'A'. Saturday I couldn't fix it but Sunday I did. It took a lot of mental effort and some clear riding (thank you Centred Riding because the 'ball' analogy really helped). So it's a win in that I 'fixed it'.
5. smooth transitions and keep the rhythm.
Transitions were largely smooth and that was some of the comments I received as well. But when she tensed her rhythm went off. It's a work in progress. Carmen does have tons of potential. We just need to keep working.
6. Have her relaxed enough to give me some semblance of stretch in the free walk and stretchy circle.
Achieved. It wasn't 'test perfect' but she gave me as much stretch as she does at home. The problem is that as we approach the wall she tenses. This is again is a goal we are working on.
7. Have fun. keep in mind that it's about a positive experience and getting miles on Carmen.
Oh my god. I had so much fun. The group of ladies competing were all so supportive and helpful to one another. There were lots of smiles and fun. It was one of the most positive shows I have been to. It's a great venue to introduce horses to showing.
This photo sums it all up perfectly.
|All the feelings. PC Joanne Kane|