First, let’s get the the ugly stuff out of the way…trailer practice had been progressing in the right direction. Ike has been walking right on the trailer with absolutely NO hesitation. I could not have been prouder of him. Well, today we had a minor setback. He walked right up the ramp and proceeded to eat his oats. He lifted his head and spotted the neighbor’s children in the woods (boogie men in disguise). He high tailed it into reverse and lifted his head. When he does that, it is higher than the back door. You can see where this is going. Bam, he hit his poll on the trailer – you can see the dented metal. The boy has a hard noggin. He then went into mule-mode and would not get back on the trailer. Sigh. Time for another lesson in patience. Twenty minutes later, he reloaded and managed to back off with his head down. We got the ugly out of the way before we rode, so I was hoping for a good day.
Managed to fit in a second lesson this morning. The divine Ms. C brought in the tractor as a stand in for a dressage judge’s booth. We started developing a game plan for the first show. How will we warm up? What if Ike is as high as a kite? Will I scratch or try my test if he is having a meltdown? So many unknowns and although we can try to plan for every variable, I know good and well that there is always another boogie man waiting for us.
We then practiced our tests. Since I did not compete last year, I never studied or memorized any tests at any level. It is somewhat nice to ease back in with the Intro tests. [Heads up, Here comes The Bad.] Made it through Intro A. Simple test – need to work on our long diagonal. Hate that you have to walk down centerline to finish. With Intro B, we made multiple 20 meter circles to the left in order to achieve better bend. Overall, it was our best effort. Then it came time for Intro C. Made it through the first trot circle, the right lead canter (and we got it!), the change of rein, our left circle, then……………………………………….oh, yeah, my mind went…………………………….blank……………………………………..rider error. Better to get it out now.
Finally let us end on The Good. My trainer is the best! Her knowledge of dressage is amazing. She has a way of explaining things that make complex concepts simple to understand. She helps me set realistic goals. Mere words hardly seem enough to express how much I admire her horsemanship and friendship. Ike and I could never do this without her support and guidance.