My weekend trip to the Central Coast was loads of fun. I arrived with Will a couple days before the show so that we could get in a few lessons. The lessons we’re really helpful and we re-learned the importance of counter shoulder-in. I started off warming Will up in counter shoulder in and when I felt he was reaching under and yielding from my outside leg and rein, I would straighten him and ask him to go forward, allowing him to come through his entire body. Then as we started more collected work, the counter shoulder-in served as a half halt and became more subtle. The exercise allowed him to be through, especially during transitions. Instead of coming up in the neck, he had to make the change behind. I’m writing all of this down so in a couple of months I can re-read this and continue to use it my riding!
It was great having a few days to prepare for the show. Plus, I took some time off work so when I wasn’t at the barn, I was by the pool catching up with friends! Very relaxing and enjoyable!
Show days – I decided to show 3-1 and 3-2 because our lessons went so well and 3-2 is actually easier for Will then 2-4. Will was great at the show. My warm up was easy and our first 3-1 test went really smoothly, even though Will was a little nervous about the judge’s tent. The next test, 3-2, was even better. I love the way that test flows. We ended up getting marvelous scores on both tests and encouraging feedback from the judge. On Sunday I rode only one test, 3-1. My warm-up felt even better then the day before. In the test we had two big bobbles but the quality of work in between felt superior to the day before. Each ride is learning experience! Overall I couldn’t be more happy with how we did. We received 3 qualifying scores for championships our first time out at third level and we had fun doing it!
After our test, we drove home. When I unloaded Will from the trailer at 5:30pm on Sunday, there was no poop. I waited an hour at the barn and still nothing. I went home and took a shower and came back at 8:30 and still nothing. I was pretty freaked out. I gave him a watery bran mash and finally an hour later he passed his food. The trip home was hot and while he showed no signs of distress in the trailer or at home, the heat and trailer ride obviously affected him. I got up a couple times during the night to check on him and monitored him closely for a couple days. He’s back to normal now – thank goodness. What a scare!
I’m looking forward to getting back in the saddle tonight since he’s had a few days off !