After our tests [Show Report], we ventured out into the wilds of a cross-country course sitting in the pasture next to the dressage ring. We walked and trotted over a handful of low logs. Milton treated most of the obstacles as ground poles rather than jumps, i.e. trotted over rather than jumping. The farther out we went, the less we trotted. He jumped over the last two, including cantering nicely away from the last, probably because we were heading back the barns/trailer area.
We went out.
We jumped as high as we have been jumping in the ring. I can’t suddenly expect him to leap tall buildings on XC when he has been popping over garden sheds in schooling.
He stayed calm and attentive.
We did a lot of walking. I wish I had felt up to doing more, but one always does. At least, I always does.
He got more and more lit as we got farther and farther – I’m talking yards here – out onto the course. When something would catch his eye, I would stop and let him contemplate for a while. Then we’d walk around more. When he got like this, I didn’t feel up to trotting the jumps or even trotting in the open sans jumps. I was concerned that trotting would become A) a wrestling match or B) a hissy fit. His expressed dislike of trotting around his own pasture was never far from my mind [Two Hops Forward, One Step Back].
Was he calm and attentive because I wisely chose not to overdo it and thereby cause a setback, or because he’s ready to do more and I should woman up and ride my horse? Either I am a brilliant trainer who senses the mood of her horse and is gradually building his education with positive experiences, or I’m a weenie. Your choice.
The Rest of the World
So many shows, so few Saturdays. I sent a brag photo to the nice ladies who helped get us ready for the show. They both responded with ribbon shots from their respective shows.
Say what you want about the evils of social media, it was fun to keep up with folks in real time. Note: both barns had more showing to do & more ribbons to reap.
Thank you for reading,