I was originally signed up to ride Intro B and C but felt unprepared for the canter in Intro C. Despite my best efforts on those darn canter transitions they were just not making progress. I felt like the clock was ticking before I left for Rolex and I ultimately asked them to put my in Intro A and B.
We were the first ride down centerline at 9am. I was running a little later than I had planned and arrived at the show with a little less than an hour before my first ride. Thankfully my horse is a rock star and doesn't need a huge amount of warm up time. We were able to warm up in the competition arena; besides looking around a bit she warmed up nicely. Our first test continued that trend and she put in a solid effort with a score of 67.5%.
After our first test we had a little under an hour before the next one. I took her back to the trailer and let her snack on her hay for a bit before taking her back up to the show ring. I watched a friend ride her test before heading into the indoor to warm up. Emi wasn't a huge fan of the indoor and was especially not thrilled when an ATV, pulling a trailer with feed buckets hooked over the edge, went rattling by. Next thing I knew the ring attended was telling me that I was in next. Sadly I had an unsettled horse and not enough time to deal with it. Her second test reflected that tension and we scored a 61.875%. We got 2 blue ribbons for showing up as we were the only horse in Intro A & B.
|Visiting with her fan club between her tests|
I left the show feeling really pleased with my horse. 3 rides in 2 weeks is not the best ever horse show prep, neither is running a little bit late. Although we have yet to put together two good tests at a show I feel like we are getting closer and Emi is gaining some good miles in a low pressure atmosphere.
So back to the canter transition issue...and the reason I skipped blogging about the last two days of our Kentucky trip. Thursday I had a really good ride and Emi gave me two canter transitions that were much better than normal. I didn't want to speak too soon but at this point I'm feeling pretty confident we've turned a corner. I rode her Monday and today and both days I got more of the good transitions. I'd say we are about 50/50 right now (50% good and 50% running) but that is so much better than 100% bad transitions we were getting. I'm thrilled to be seeing some progress. JW told me she wouldn't be surprised if it didn't improve all winter but I was still feeling down about where we were at. I'd love to move up to training level but it doesn't make sense until we have a reliable canter transition...and I think we are getting closer!
On top of that we have a JW clinic next weekend. I'm so looking forward to getting some help and have really been focusing on all of the things I need input on. As it turns out, making a concentrated effort on our trouble areas is already helping us. Who would have thought. Haha. I've been making a mental list of things to talk with JW about.
1) Canter transitions!
2) Tracking right she falls in or else she falls out, like full on shoulder popped falling out. Although I know my inside rein can't fix the problem I resort to that as soon as I feel like my outside rein isn't working...which make the shoulder pop out even worse. Last time we rode with JW we had a big problem with this and I just couldn't get it right. The past two rides I've really focused on it and I think we are making progress.
3) How round should I be expecting her to be & when do I push for more? I'm finding that when Emi's tense she really carries the tension in her neck. How do I deal with that?
I'm fairly certain we are going to get a little bit hammered at this next clinic. Due to a variety of reasons I haven't been taking regular lessons since late fall, so the help I've been getting has only been the clinics...one in December and one in February - 4 lessons total in about 6 months. That's probably not the recipe for success with an adult amateur riding a 3 year old. I'm so fortunate that Emi is good. That being said, I know that it has slowed our progress down and that I need more help. So, after this clinic I'm committing to a lesson a month.