Firstly, thanks to everyone that commented and gave me advice about my barn boarding situation! I really appreciate it and I ended up staying at Barn A. I’m glad I decided to stay and I’ve been happy. 🙂
Moving on though…I’m attending my 1st dressage show evar this coming weekend on Stubby, the spicy little red mare.
I’m excited/freaked out about it as this is my 1st show in probably 12 years? Also, it’s Stubby’s first show in about 7-8 years? We’re doing Training Level 1 so a nice, straight forward test…hopefully. But, importantly, I’m going to remember to try to have fun and have it be a good learning experience.
We actually haven’t run through the whole complete test all at once, but have mainly been working on the sections we have the most problems with. This week is for stringing all the parts together into hopefully a coherent and well rounded test. The biggest problem for me though is maintaining Stubby’s focus as she is:
- Super Spooky. She’s got some pretty damn good spook abilities. Imagine cutting horse front end drop with a little reining spin. Fun. NOT. In the words of Nicole, I’ve developed Glue Ass with Stubs
- She can be super heavy and fussy with her mouth. We’ve gotten a TON better since I started riding her, but when she gets crabby or doesn’t want to listen she’ll lean like a mofo and pretend to be a giraffe with her neck.
So lately, with the help of Trainer/Buddy A, we’ve been working on having my rides be more “active” to keep Stubs more interactive and soft. I need to shorten my reins more (seems like most people get this too), keep my hands more closed, and be more relaxed in my shoulders. Buddy A says when Stubby tenses or gets tight my shoulders start to creep forward and up which leads to Stubby tensing even more. After she pointed that out I made a conscious effort to relax my shoulders and let my arms hang straight down my sides. Its amazing how I could immediately feel a difference in our transitions and Stubby would be less fight-y about things.
Hopefully with the stuff we’ve been working on, Stubby and I can have a decent outing! If not, it’ll be entertaining at the least. I just need to not tighten up and lose my shit. That is easier said than done, but I’m going to try my hardest!
I’m sure there will be photographic and perhaps video proof as Hubby is coming as my chauffeur and groom (ha!) and I have several buddies riding in the same show. There will definitely be a re-cap of the show, good or bad!
Wish us luck!!!