|We went and picked up some square bales on Thursday evening.|
I decided that before leaving on the trailer, I would dose her with some Omega Alpha Chill - not necessarily for her benefit, but for mine.
|Being a good pone - for the moment.|
Nicole and I opted to tie the horses on opposite sides of the trailer and I dosed Annie again with the Chill after she pawed the crap out of the side of the trailer. She was good to be tacked up and I opted to wander over to the warm up arena solo - I was curious to see how she'd react without AJ and I didn't want to start having to rely on a buddy when we go places. A death sentence? Maybe.
At the mounting block, she tried to move around but after I stern talking to, she stood quiet enough for me to mount. Nicole and her gelding weren't far behind us, but Annie was still pretty hyped up about it all. She jigged and jigged and jigged in the warm up, which was totally irritating but we worked through it and eventually got some good work. The canters were nice - at one point during a trot-canter transition she decided she was going to give a half-hearted buck so she got a spank for that and we carried on. AJ was lunged at the opposite side of the arena and I tried to avoid where he was and tried to keep Annie's attention on me by asking her to flex, bend, leg yield... just anything that would take her mind off of her buddy. Her bad lead was picked up after about three tries and we ended it there. I felt like the work I got in there at the end was really nice and felt similar to my Karen lessons.
|I have many feelings today, none of them include|
After another rider had finished, it was my turn and by that time Nicole had parked AJ outside of the arena. I'm not sure if him being closer helped, but Annie and I laid down a really nice Dressage test. I mean, it wasn't fault-free, but it felt really nice. Our geometry needs work and getting her more relaxed will help put the pieces together.
I opted to do Training Level 1, since I would be showing that later in the week and wanted to get over my fear of cantering in the open arena. The only issue (which really cost us points), was her right lead canter - she actually picked it up correctly and I had thought she picked up the wrong one so I shut her down and proceeded to be unsuccessful in obtaining the lead again. Oops, sorry Bannie.
|Kinda embarrassing to have a test score under 50%, but ah well.|
|I love the amount of lift she has in the front end.|
Now I just need to learn to sit it and put my
fucking hands down.
|Some more stretch would be nice, but happy with this!|
|A moment of slight relaxation - it was short lived.|
|Tense and resistant, but still doing the thing.|
My second test ran right after the first and was Training Level 2. This test felt less harmonic than the first despite us getting all of our leads. She was more tense and gave me some serious attitude in a few movements - at one point she gave a half-hearted buck and in another she did her very best "fuck you I'm a llama" impression.
|Me: "I think I might die today."|
Annie: "You are thinking right."
|We did the canter thing!! Complete with swishy tail sassiness.|
|Annie: "I hate you Ihateyou Ihateyou."|
|I think our enter at A was a bit.... wiggly.|
|My personal favorite of the day.|
Annie, kindly telling me to fuck right off.
|That coy smile is because I'm like "wow. I survived"|
We wandered back to the trailer and I stripped Annie's tack and let her eat some hay. She was quiet and calm as I went and watched a few other people's tests and there was only one point I had to walk back over and tie her a bit shorter and give her a stern talking to for pawing again. For a mare that hasn't really been tied like that at events, I was pleased with her cooperation.
After helping the volunteers set up the jumps, I went into the ring where Annie had NO steering and not really any brakes... or cares... or anything. She kind of reverted back to how she felt when I first got her - just like a wet noodle. She did everything I asked tho - and didn't even hesitate at any of the jumps or throw in any stops.
|"I am not enjoying this." -Annie|
|Looping back down to where AJ was and passing him.. |
Yah... she was not impressed.
|Being super defensive, but pony is happy.|
Initially, the plan was to do 4-5 rounds, but I only ended up doing three. Two trot pole rounds and one cross-rail round. Each time we did a round, I had to give her a spank with the whip to get into the arena, mostly because she didn't want to leave her friend.
The first trot pole round was really awful feeling - she ignored my aids and kinda just turned on her own and wiggled all over the place. The second trot pole round was better and I actually let her canter over some of the poles, wherein she knocked a few. The cross rail round was by far the best and I let her canter most of it. I had to really half-halt a lot tho, because her canter is not really compressible right now so she was ZOOOOMING through it. Still - pony went through it and did it all.
All in all it was a pretty good day - we had some major fail moments and some really good moments. Sometimes it is easy to get discouraged to not have the same horse at home as you do at an event, but I suppose it'll just take time. I am still pretty happy that we got to do everything I wanted to do, despite the minor theatrics.
|We stayed and watched Horse Show Buddy jump Tally (remember her?)|
and Annie all of a sudden was like "OHMAHGOD I AM SO TIRED NOW."
She loaded up good and hauled home just fine, even when AJ was dropped off and left.
Anyone else find more exposure makes their horse easier to deal with? Any mare-in-heat horror stories? How long did it take for your horse to get used to the chaos that is horse shows/events?