Although I'm not sure that practice actually makes "perfect" it definitely makes "better." Last month I started practicing trotting in hand with Emi. She was okay but was pretty sassy, tossing her head, putting her ears back etc. Shortly after that I watched a video done by Jessica Wisdom. She talked about making sure your horse is used to what it will be wearing at a show, otherwise it may not like it. I decided I would start turning Emi out in her leather halter so she could get used to the feel of it. Besides that, I've been working her in hand a little bit, here at our house.
Today I loaded her up for a practice session at NDF. She loaded well and off we went. She jumped right out of the trailer at the barn and was pretty chill about the whole thing. We looked around and then headed over to the arena with my friends. I kicked Tarra's big ball around while leading Emi, and then I started trotting her in hand. She was a lot better than last time. She still doesn't really go around with her ears up, but she wasn't nearly as sassy as she was last time and she trotted out much better. I think once she gets in the show ring her ears probably will be up since there will be so much more to look at. At this point I plan to take her up to the barn for one more practice session prior to taking her to the show in about a month. The video below shows the best run from last time, one from today, and then my friend's daughter playing with the big ball. So cute!