Last weekend was Stella's first Combined Test and show of the year and the weather couldn't have been worse for it! Pouring rain, driving wind, quite cold. Stella's starting to warm up on the bridle when we go places but we still aren't carrying that from a location she's been in for a bit to our new location so more work to be done there. Plus, I looked at an entry from a year ago which had Intro A listed instead of Intro B so I got run out of the arena, had to download the test on my phone, then went back into the arena.
Jumping I'm still totally a spazz about for various unknown and known reasons. Stella needs a very supportive ride or she will stop, even over crossrails. Not that she doesn't WANT to do it, but she doesn't WANT to do it if I'm not committed. I need to find a way to calm my warm up arena nerves so I can be a more productive rider. In the ring we had two stops where I wasn't riding with a supportive lower leg. The fences I let her maintain her canter to, and rode more aggressively too she had no issues. The fences I let her trot to we had issues. I think maybe I'm more focused and plugged in at the canter then at the trot?
Either way quite a mixed bag of emotions there. On the one hand I don't feel like I've been riding well enough to deserve to get around. I had a good lesson a few weeks before were we were connected and plugged in and she only stopped at the fences I thought she'd stop at because I failed to do anything about it. Our lesson before the show was a different matter and Stella stopped at everything. Without the support of other horses in the ring she really needs that from me. So while I went into the show commited to ride better, did I really keep my promise to myself? On the other hand, it's a freaking crossrail and it's obvious we're going over it, so do I want a horse that questions everything? Will Stella always be that kind of horse and do I want to ride that kind of horse? Can I learn to ride that kind of horse?
Yesterday I took Stella to an open show. A friend was originally going to take her young mare to get her used to the busy show atmosphere and get some ring time with other horses but her mare was injured so instead she took her green gelding who did quite well! I was pretty on the wrong side of the fence about this show. I realized that Stella isn't an arena class or conformation horse, I'd just been to a horse show, and I came up short on fun money. But we went and we gained experience!
Stella is pretty good when she goes places on her own, but she gets really attached to her trailer buddy. I am hoping that more experiences where she has to leave her buddy will help calm her nerves down. She did basically scream the entire time she was separated from her buddy though.
Here we are being failures at halter horses. She was anxious, noisy, and she just doesn't have the conformation that these judges are looking for. I do admit that her neck sets in low and she needs more muscling there to make up for it, but I don't think she's built too awful bad.
This is Sport Horse in Hand. I didn't think she did too bad here, she was happy to trot in hand which was great as we have not really practiced this since last summer.
Here's our under saddle class. I picked a walk trot class as I didn't think I could maintain her canter in that big of a group and wanted to give her a more relaxing experience. She handled herself really well. I got a great spot all by myself so I didn't have to contend with anyone bumping into me. I did question it a bit at first as I was hoping to be behind someone especially down the side with the bleachers in case she got spooky. She wasn't on the bridle the entire time but she didn't back off or spook at anything so I was pleased.
There are 14 other horses in our class!!!
Our next trip is this coming weekend and we will be hauling 2 hours away and camping for the entire weekend! EEEECKKK!!! I hope Stella stays in the pen I have to make for her and that I don't freeze in my trailer dressing room.