The “I don’t want to canter” horse show – Part 4

As I walked out of the ring I told my trainer and Boomerang I was scratching my second test. I only had 15 minutes before I needed to be back in the ring again and my horse was blowing me off, and I was being a shitty rider because of it. I have been trying all year to do these tests and failing at every show. Why keep trying when we were so clearly not ready? Boomerang tried to tell me that it didn’t look that bad, but I wasn’t hearing it. I have known my trainer for 16 years. She knows me well. Mid-tantrum she cut me off and told me there was no way in Hell I was getting off Lucky yet. She told me to breath and get my butt back in the indoor. We had a lot of work to do in 15 minutes.

I told her back that I didn’t want to do the second test. I knew I needed to school, so I didn’t argue that point, but I made it clear I had no intention of riding training 1. When I get mad I get really focused. My trainer knows that about me. As soon as I walked in to the indoor we went right to work. I was pouting, but ready to work. Lucky didn’t want to listen, that was unacceptable. We set right to work on getting her to pay attention to my legs again. We started doing turns on the forehand and both the walk and the trot and really using my lateral work to keep Lucky guessing about what was coming next.

I was mostly calmed down so when I looked at my watch and it was 9:48 (my test was a 9:50) I took a deep breath and told my trainer the time. Both she and Boomerang encouraged me to go back in. The thing was, I knew I needed to do the test. You are never going to fix your problems by running away from them. Lucky felt way more on the aids, and while I wasn’t my usual show self, I was determined to at least not feel completely defeated at a show.

This time I used the area around the ring to keep Lucky guessing. From a quarter turn on her haunches in the corners to shoulder in to haunches in on the straight away we used that time to work, not stare off in to the woods. I made a point to keep riding and not be a passenger. The first center line to halt was better, not perfect, but better. I still let her pick the pace of the trot, which is not good, but I at least made corrections while I was riding.

The first canter was scary to me. I tense up, and went right to my hands causing her to throw her face up in the air. I don’t think I breathed the whole time until the downward…well the start of the downward anyway. This time I started to ask for the trot transition way before I needed it in the hopes that even if it was late I would at least not be messing with the next movement. As you can see from the video, she listened to my leg, but not my seat and hand. I guess that she listened to my leg is good news for when we when start to do lateral work at the canter?

Have I mentioned that I feel stuck with where Lucky and I are with the canter? That lack of a downward wasn’t helping matters. As I tried for a stretch circle, only to have her start to rush and scramble I knew things were going from bad to worse. As I picked up my reins I thought about just ending the test right there…

To Be Continued…