So my last blog said we were giving BD a go, and give it a go we did! We came, we did and we definitely didn't conquer - In fact not only was it our worst score to date, It was the worst score of the entire day, of all competitors in all tests! OOPS! Apparently he has never seen the judges box at a venue we regularly compete at, and hire once a month *sigh*.
His spookiness is by far his biggest weakness. In a warm up arena I can keep him preoccupied, keep him on a circle, lots of lateral work, lots of transitions and he is so focused, but the walk from the warm up to the arena is usually enough for all concentration to be lost and the dragon noises to appear, then we get one full lap to contend with whatever horse eating obstacles are on route, these are usually flower pots!..... and.... trot down the centre line! Yup, this fire breathing dragon, running from those vicious tulips is now required to ride a balanced, rhythmic centre line, straight at the judge!
Well we managed to make it to X before his head was higher than a giraffe, his trot became slower than the pace of a sloth and round about G we stop! So G was as close as he was prepared to get to the judges box, for the entire test, which we had to go past 5 times, twice in trot and twice in canter and once in walk!
Well, just another learning curve! We went and did another unaffiliated at the weekend, and the judge was delayed starting us so we got to go around the arena 4 times rather than once! What a huge difference this made, to our scores and concentration.
I guess now the decision is, do we sacrifice the scores for a while, and try out a tonne of venues to build his confidence, or do we try competing at the same regular venues, in the hope that familiarity settles him down?! Watch this space...…..