It’s been a crazy few months with many ups and downs. I have had a difficult time adjusting to riding 2 different horses! I’d ride Mister and put Cierra on the back burner and then I’d swing the other way and ride Cierra and put Mister on the back burner for a few weeks! Honestly though if my biggest problem has been getting used to 2 horses life must be pretty great! Sometimes I would ride them both but would ride Mister in a similar manner as Cierra-ie: beginner level and didn’t expect anything from him! Thankfully I have never expected Cierra to be like Mister!! Mister must have felt like he was on vacation!
It’s also been a difficult winter this year. It’s been cold and I have not been as motivated as previous years either which led me to feeling very unprepared for our first show! I was not sure if I was going to show but I decided a few weeks before the show to switch to my dressage saddle. I hadn’t ridden in it all winter but the show season was fast approaching and even though it still felt like winter, the calendar said it was spring! I want to be able to ride both Western dressage and Classic dressage this year, so I pushed myself into the dressage saddle and within a few days I was so crippled up it was ridiculous! Not quite sure what went wrong but the saddle did not fit Mister and I and then because I was tensing up in the saddle Mister ended up with a sore back too. So we took some time off and if he was feeling better we would show in the western saddle. And because I felt unprepared I was a bit grumpy the week before the show and had quite the show nerves! Mister was not super happy with me and this created a bit of a struggle with us! Once we got to the show grounds and I realised I was as ready as I was going to be I seemed to relax. Hanging out with Mister really made me relax even more. I also discovered that I need to meditate a bit. I don’t remember the meditation clip I was listening to but the guys voice just brought me back down to Earth. But I was too relaxed in my tests once I got in the ring and neither Mister nor I had a lot of impulsion! I rode 3 tests the one day and they were alright but we were both pretty tired. We did do better the next day when we just had one test. I actually remember thinking when we were almost done that we have to keep going as my riding instructor said it seemed like when we were close to the end of our tests we would lose that focus, so my last test I kept that focus and it showed in our marks!! Some of the scores on my previous tests definitely went down at the end of the test when I knew we were coming to the end of the test! We have lots to keep working on-more contact, more impulsion and more accuracy-though our accuracy is getting better and we are using the corners more than we used to! This was our best dressage show ever and our confidence is coming more and more. We have another one coming up next weekend and then another 2 weeks after that! It will be nice to have a nice solid base of shows this year! The last week after the show has solidified our trust in eachother. Mister is so much more content and I love how we are totally back in sync with each other again. That is one of the reason I love shows-it shows you both the holes and the strengths you have with your horses!
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed riding Cierra lately! Last month I was still on the lungeline with her and got a few steps of canter! But she hasn’t offered since and I am not pushing it. She has a really nice trot and I am really enjoying it! The last week we have been off the lungeline and working on a lot of steering. We’ve been feeling quite comfortable with each other. I am enjoying figuring her out and helping her with her firsts of everything! It’s also a lot of work! But she is smart so it has been pretty good. She does like to look for things to spook at so keeping things interesting is something I have to keep doing-lots of bending and steering seems to help her focus on me a bit more. We are aiming for the September show to take her to a walk/jog test and get her used to the arena and the atmosphere. Maybe I will be brave and take them both to it!
Here are some pictures over the last few months! Enjoy! And hopefully my next entry will be sooner than later!