Forrest aka Alloy is finally coming together! We had a few bobbles in dressage (a break to canter and squirreling down center line to a halt), but I was mostly happy that he turned right and didn’t try to pop up in the arena. In our training I’ve been trying to get him more equal in both reins. We started out at about 100% right rein and 0% left rein, and he’s not always happy that I expect him to take the outside (left) rein and get off the right. At home, we’re getting more and more through, but it requires a bit of riding on the edge, and I wanted to play it safe and just make it through out test. Even with the bobbles, we scored a 34.9.
We went on to have the best showjumping round we’ve ever had. We left long a few times, but had no chip ins and landed on the correct lead after every fence. We finished double clear, and I was one proud trainer. We even received compliments on what a nice round it was as we left the arena. It’s so nice to have all your hard work start to pay off, and I’m so happy with how Forrest is taking off now, he’s really starting to sit back and use his hind end, leaving the ground square.
The pressure was on for xc, since we were still on our dressage score. Also because this is our iffiest phase. After our xc school with Jesse yesterday where we seemed to have a breakthrough on our galloping rhythm and approaching drops (his least favorite obstacle), I was feeling pretty good, but I wasn’t going to let my guard down.
The warm up was a free-for-all with times going out the window, but it still worked to give Forrest lessons on keeping his head in the game, walking and waiting, then going back to work, repeat, then finally running his course. We left the start box and I gave him a tap with the crop a few strides out, just so he knew we were working even though we were leaving all the other horses, and we went right over the flower box, and every other fence and drop and ditch! We did have an unplanned circle left where the turn right was just too difficult for him (I would like to know how much is physical and how much is mental in this issue. He steers easily until he knows which way the barn is, hmm…), but it did give us a moment to regroup and head for the next fence. The running martingale and rubber-mouth d-ring, definitely seem to be working for now. I would like to let it out a notch or two, but right now, it does it’s job and helps keep us straighter. Once again, we finished double clear, and in 5th in the Novice division!