This past week I’ve had a mild panic attack realizing that I need to sit the trot for both prelim tests. I’ve sat Oh So’s trot a lot, but I don’t always push through it for most of the ride. I just do small bits here and there. He’s learning to accept it and not get tense though. What I really need to practice is going from rising to sitting multiple times.
I think at the schooling show next weekend I’ll do some sitting trot in the warmup and maybe try some during the first level tests I’m going to see how it goes. I’m not sure when our prelim move up will be. I’d love for it to be at the Virginia Horse Trials in May, but we need to actually jump a 3’6″ course first. The cross-country questions won’t be a problem for him. He loves the gymnastic exercises and seems to enjoy drops into water now. I’ll be the biggest issue on cross-country. I need to practice the pace more and learn to not freak out at max tables. I also would like to be better at slipping the reins on drop fences and letting my hips come forward a bit.
He’s been going very well at home though. I’ve had more good days then bad on the flat and even if he does get a bit tense, he comes back from it. I had a good dressage lesson on Thursday where we worked on the leg yields that are in the First level tests. He got tense in his neck for a few steps, so we stopped the leg yield and went straight for a few steps, then continued it. I think I’m getting to know him so much more now that he’s not getting tense all the time. I can now ask for as much as I need, then back off if he gets tense in his body, then ask again. His trot lengthenings are coming along too. It’s sort of the same situation in the jumping. He’s getting better at staying calm while jumping at home. I did a small gymnastic line this morning and he was almost lazy over it!
I had a new saddle fitter come out yesterday since it’s been over a year since I’ve had both horses’ saddles looked at. We only got to Sam unfortunately because it ended up raining all afternoon. He’s much cheaper and easily available then the woman I usually use. He seemed knowledgable, although he thought Sam’s dressage saddle tree was too wide. It’s a custom saddle! He might have changed shape a bit as he’s gotten older, but I don’t think it’s too wide. He did make some good points about how it was fitting at how it seems to be causing some back soreness. I always attributed that to his hind end issues, but if a change in flocking will help, I’d be happy.
I’ll have to reschedule him for Oh So. Hopefully we won’t have to change his saddles too much because they’re newer.
Tomorrow I’m off to an unrecognized Pony Club horse trial in Maryland to work for GRC, then auditing/reporting on a Lucinda Green clinic on Monday and Tuesday, while trying to get to a jump lesson on Monday as well. Things are getting insanely busy!