It isn't the movements that are giving us trouble. It's the whole adding-stress-at-a-show problem. I can fix that (hopefully) by going to more shows and actively schooling it, but there are other things too.
As I mentioned Monday, Courage came home and was all bent out of shape about life.
So I let him be. One of my favorite trainers once commented that when a horse (or human) has had a lot of stress build up, sometimes they just need to run. Much like when you're scared because you see a predator, so you run like hell to get away and then feel fine. Makes sense, right?
And as I said, the obstacles now aren't training. I need to find a way to communicate to Courage and move forward, not mindlessly drill movements that we both know he already knows.
|this is my horse on a bad day. suck it.|
We had a toodling day. We hung out with the farrier, who called him "a very cool horse" and got a gold star in my book. I got all excited about jumping and dragged my short-flapped brown saddle back out to the barn.
|look ma no boots!|
Even when I went back to dressage tack, I didn't go school a bunch of movements. Instead, we walked.
|yes in white polos. have you met me?|
And you know what?
It was great. He stayed relaxed. I stayed engaged. By the end of the ride, Courage was giving me an incredible walk and neither of us was upset.
|not impressed by shocking lack of sparkles|
I tend to be a very intense person when it comes to chasing my goals. Courage is a great horse for me because he's constantly challenging me to find new ways to think about problems. He forces me to drop all my baggage at the gate, take a deep breath, and spend the next 90 minutes focused only on one thing.
Things outside of horses are a little crazy right now. I'm learning to let Courage be my zen, and for 90 minutes a day, all is well with the world.