Okay, I admit it. I am embarrassed of my riding right now. Or should I say, I am embarrassed to be entering a show at the moment. Why? Because I am heeding my trainers advice which means…I am a walk/trot rider this year.
There I said it. Man, I even cringed when I typed it.
I need to get over it though because if I want to show this year (which I obviously do) this is what it is going to have to be. It kills me that I couldn’t get out of my own way when it comes to the SchoolMaster. In fact, I think that might be why I am having such a hard time with it. Just a few short months ago I was working on canter halfpasses (mind you I was freaking out about it in my head) and now I can’t even canter in the show ring.
I made the decision to ride at walk/trot for many reasons, but it is still hard. The most obvious reason was that TM will not stop after a canter. I blame that on her OTTB ways. She is not taking off with me or galloping away, but once she starts to canter she thinks that she has to canter forever. I occasionally still have to use the fence to get her to trot again. That is not exactly a safe technique in general, and especially not safe during a show where there could potentially not be a fence as well as having lots of other horses around. As my trainer says, the canter will come. It is already getting better and so with time TM will have three lovely gaits.
I also decided that with all the trouble she had at the last show, doing something that I find easy might not be a bad thing at the moment. Hopefully she will be a total angel at the next show, but just in case she is not at least at walk/trot I feel confident that we can do everything that is expected without adding too much additional stress. Plus, it will mean that I can have more control over the flow warm up (instead of needing to canter early which is what I found I need to do with her to have any chance of getting a good trot after the canter).
So my dream for this year was not exactly to be riding Starter Horse Walk/Trot, but with all things considered I do think that it is the perfect level for where TM is right now. Plus, the bonus is that once I get TM’s head on straight for a show she has the potential to get some nice scores. I get very envious of people who get to go though the levels with their horses. I am just going through the same levels over and over again on different horses!