“I think you need to see it”

So after two successful horse shows my trainer and I were talking about what is next. I am going to keep doing Starter Horse Intro A+B for the schooling shows, but after this Thursday’s shows, I will have accomplished what I needed to at the Thursday Night Dressage shows. I am still signed up to do the last two in August, but since Lucky is getting better about being a show horse, I don’t really need to keep going everywhere to get her experience. I had thought about just not going to the last two, but at $25 for two classes and no ribbons my trainer had a better idea.

Why not try a little Intro C Training 1?

My answer was because I didn’t want to make a fool of myself.

During my last lesson Lucky was being tough to ride. She was being extra dramatic and extra opinionated. It doesn’t happen very often, but it was good that it was during a lesson because we could work through it. After a few minutes of frustration my trainer told me we were going to run through Intro C. She wanted to show me that sometimes things are not as bad as they feel. Since it felt pretty horrible I wasn’t sure if I wanted it on camera, but I trust my trainer and am curious to see us at the canter so we went ahead and tried it.

So it isn’t pretty. It would be about a 50% if we took it in to the show ring, but it was great to see it. Things really don’t look as horrible as they feel. And Lucky was being tough to ride. If we have about a 50% on a not so good day, we are absolutely in the 55% range when things are going well. So the point was proven. I think I am going to try Intro C and Training Test 1 in August. That gives me another show and almost 3 more weeks to make it better.

I will actually go and learn my test by that time 😛 The point of the Thursday Night shows is to gain experience, not huge scores. The year end awards at the local show ground are like the size of normal ribbons so there is no reason to be bored at the same level trying to come in 1st. The challenge is good for us. Plus, even though it is not pretty, it is not embarrassing either. Not to mention the fact that the more I canter at shows, the better the canter at shows will become so why not start on it extra early. We are still working on the canter at home so of course it won’t be perfect in the show ring, but I think it is okay enough to at least try in front of a judge. My goal is training level in 2013, so I getting a huge head start!

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5 thoughts on ““I think you need to see it”

  1. You need to move beyond “making a fool of yourself” because you’re only “fooling YOURSELF.” Lots of people show and make horrendous mistakes–like going off course even with a reader, which I have done several times and it’s only embarrassing for a moment because I’ll inevitably do something ELSE that is worse–but people aren’t looking at you and thinking bad thoughts. They are “with you in spirit.” You are correct to challenge yourself, and the world is yours with Lucky. You two make a lovely pair and you ride her well.

  2. Bluntness here.The ratio of instructor comments on what to do with your hands and what to do with your body is 6 to 1. This is hand riding and Lucky does not appear to like it.

    This test has long stretches where nothing is supposed to happen. It can be a demo of what you can do, but has no value in actually training.
    The exercises you need to learn for training will help you do this test, and you won’t feel like you have to practice this test to see how you are.
    Some horses with fussy brains do not do as well with the simpler tests, the are better at tests where more things happen faster. You can do this in training. These horses just need to go on in training and then show the more complicated tests when they are ready. It you wait until these horses can do the simple tests before you move on, you will never move on.
    Tailor your training to the horse, not to the test. Tell your instructor you want to learn how to use the rest of your body instead of your hands. Use figures and transitions to achieve what you are now trying to do with just your hands. When she stops fighting your hands and stops fighting ennui, she will be better and so will you.
    Tell your instructor that you want to learn to use your body and arena figures to train Lucky. Train for 1st level. Training level will just come while you are on the way. The intro tests are not good for this horse.

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