June 1, 2012

Whirlwind Week Wrap-Up

So, now that we've had a really encouraging stadium and cross-country clinic, and a great Dressage lesson, where are we headed from here?

For one, I can stop being concerned about whether or not he'll be able to event, or whether he'll be too spooky to ever go cross-country.  He jumped those scary barrels without even thinking about it, and while he's still wiggly to airy stadium verticals, I'm confident that that problem and the problem of occasionally not snapping his knees up will be fixed with lots of gymnastics.

For another, I know what the limiting factor is in getting us to our first event: canter.  Not transitions, just the canter.  Last weekend, Cathy said, "You get such a good transition, bring him back before he gets all strung out, even if that's just two strides.  Then it will be three, then five, then you'll do a 20m circle one day and it will feel like a miracle!"  Roughly translated, she said, "Stop accepting what you don't want from him," and I am. We will not be performing a Dressage test (unless it's a W/T intro test) until we can do the entire thing at home, and that includes a couple of 20m canter circles.

(The other limiting factor will be curbing the people phobia, as that will get harder to deal with at a show.  We'll get there.)

Finally, what are our long-term goals? (A favorite question of many people)  The truth is, I'm not sure.  I didn't go out and say, "I want to ride at prelim, so I'm going to get a prelim horse."  I have the perfect pony for me, and we'll see where that takes me.  It's hard to put into words as a finite goal, but my goal is to see how far we can get.  No deadlines, no "must be at this level by this date"  Just cruising through life with my equine partner and enjoying the ride.  And as of lately, with the rides we've had, the ride is looking pretty spectacular!

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