Today was one of those days that Ike’s worlds collided. I showed up which means peppermints and neck scratches before and after we work, but I showed up at dinner time. So, what is better? Me or dinner? It was apparent today that dinner ranks higher than I do. I had to drag him from his stall. When I tried to capture his attention for a photo, the above is what I got, “No, I will not look at the camera or give you my attention.” Ike just knew that everyone else would be fed while he was “forced” to work before he would get his afternoon ration. Yes, I am just that evil. Ike might be joining the dog’s lawsuit sooner than I think.
I left the gate to the arena open while we worked. It was like a siren of the seas drawing Ike closer and closer. Correct flexion was next to impossible as we would approach the gate. Trainers would say it should just take a squeeze and release of the inside rein to recapture his attention. Ha! Tell that to Ike’s stomach. Pretty sure that it was calling the shots for half my ride. I’d have to open my inside rein and shift all my weight to the inside just to get Ike to be straight at the poll. I can see a judge’s comment, “too much use of the inside rein.” Yes, I’ve seen that comment before, but sometimes it is all I have to fight the battle. I finally gave up and moved to the far end of the arena to get something accomplished.
The half of the ride that I could capture Ike’s attention went pretty well. Worked on the evil test combo of canter-trot transition-stretch down trot circle-working trot. It is a shame that the stretch down trot has a coefficient of 2 for the movement. It is just not our friend. We are hovering in the score range of 4.5-5.5 and I’m being optimistic. Too bad that dressage scores don’t have the high and the low marks thrown out before computing the final score – like they do in ice skating. I’m also still OK with using mulligans like I suggested in a past blog entry.
Our canter continues to improve. Practiced the T-1 canter movements. Our half circles in the middle of the arena are sometimes half ovals. Again, sometimes all I have is that inside rein to save me. At the schooling show last weekend the judge thought that our canter was a bit too slow. Really? That caught me by surprise since I’ve been trying to slow down the Marmaduke canter to something more presentable. Hoping that at the next show that I get to ride Intro C AND get the test (comments) back before my T-1 ride. At least then I know what that judge thinks we should be doing and try to show a change in the T-1 test.
Lesson with Ms. C tomorrow. Betcha we work on that stretchy trot thing…