I knew I had to be a better support for Lucky so I focused on taking some deep breaths and just relaxing. My trailer was parked, I didn’t get stuck in the end, I needed to stop worrying. Having a friend there helped to distract me and by the time my trainer came rolling up the driveway I was feeling much better. I tacked Lucky up as the parking lot filled up. Remember how I was so worried about not blocking people in? Well, the next trailer rolling down the driveway parked right next to me, blocking anyone from getting out. All well. I knew I needed to stop thinking about parking and start focusing on my ride. As I finished tacking up I reminded myself that my goal today was just to try and get my confidence back up. I was doing this show to practice, so I just needed to do my best.
Lucky being the old lady that she is we did a nice long walk warm up. I focused on riding with my hands up and together and trying to get her to be flexible. My little rock star was slightly inattentive, but not bad during our warm up. The trot work was great. I have been asking her for a bigger trot and keeping my reins shorter and it has made a huge difference. With only 10 minutes left before my ride it was time to do the dreaded canter. The first transition was good, and even coming back to the trot was not terrible. I was all smiles. I did a few more and changed direction just as Lucky decided that this wasn’t fun anymore. On our last downward from the canter she blew me off a little, but it was time to go in the ring so I didn’t have time to fix it.
As soon as we walked outside to walk around the ring Lucky started to ignore me in favor of watching the pretty scenery. The ring is set right next to the woods with the field on one side and the barn on the other. It is beautiful, but also a bit distracting. Our confidence issues are such that as soon as she started to ignore me I started to be overdramatic in some of my corrections and nonexistent in others. Instead of being firm and consistent (i.e. you WILL listen to me regardless of where we are) I was harsh and inconsistent (i.e. PAY ATTENTION TO ME…look a squirrel). I was already stressed out and she was confused before we even turned on the center line for the first time, not a good way to start a test.
To Be Continued…