I had a nice ride on her yesterday. It was quite windy and she was obviously a bit wound by that. BUT she was also trying really hard to listen and there were no big spooks or bolts or refusals to go forward. In the past I would have used that ride to drill thinking i was preparing for the show. Now I just worked on smooth transitions and bending.
I finished by tacking her for a short hack around the field. I know that I was taking a risk but I believed that I had a good understanding of what sets her off. And since she has no bad experiences riding out of the ring I figured we would be okay. And we were. A few tiny spooks in place at noises in the bushes but otherwise it was fine.
I am really looking forward to this show- I had so much fun last time. We're showing Training 1 & 2 again. But I need goals to keep me focussed and not let my inner ribbon demon come out. So here they are:
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.
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:
- where are we going? (when she spooks and scoots)
- I thought we could bend to the inside, but hey, you do you.
- no one is going to die if we go in the corner
- see, no one died.
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.
4. Help Carmen to stay straight and not throw her haunches in OR bend to the outside. Fix if that happens.
5. smooth transitions and keep the rhythm.
6. Have her relaxed enough to give me some semblance of stretch in the free walk and stretchy circle.
7. Have fun. keep in mind that it's about a positive experience and getting miles on Carmen.
Here we go. Wish us luck.