We’ve had a fairly quiet couple of weeks since the show, with a lot of rain fall and also the horsebox’s MOT (which I’m relieved to say it passed - phew!!).
I’ve done a fair few hacks with the old gal, varying the routes so she doesn’t get nappy, and even did a short hack out in the dressage saddle before doing some more test practice – boy did it feel odd hacking out in it, but it helped me later on when doing the schooling!
I’ve had a few sessions with Bob in the arena recently where I’ve had the feeling we have not achieved much. It’s mainly because we’ve had to do a lot of flatwork due to the weather making the arena boggy so I’ve aired on the side of caution for his legs. He’s also been going through an ‘energetic’ phase from the new grass where everything has to be done quickly or rushed, alongside a bit of nervousness as the horses have been moved back to their summer paddocks so are now not always in view form the arena which upsets him. This all combined meant at times I did not achieve everything I planned to in the sessions all the time, whether it be perfecting outline, slowing him over ground poles etc. One evening whilst I was cooling him off after a semi good session, I had a think and had to realise to myself how far we had come.
A few years ago I would never have braved wandering him round on the buckle with no stirrups, as the builders opposite made a lot of noise with diggers etc! Despite being nervy at times, he now barely spooks, listens to me, and focuses when I ask him to – the amount of trust we have in one another has rocketed and this in itself is a huge achievement! I rode him the other evening whilst 2 skips were being delivered with the lorry going up and down kerbs, we encountered children on scooters and a surprise ride on lawn mower making a racket the other side of the arena hedge – and what did Bob do each time – he had a look, went a bit tense, then looked to me for reassurance which he fully got, and off we went continuing on our session! I recall 4 years ago when I couldn’t even lunge him in the arena with no noise/distractions at all as he would go completely wild and I would have such a problem just holding him!
Sometimes we do have to take a step back to look at what’s been achieved, especially if things don’t go to plan and we need to remind ourselves we are still on the right track! We have a jumping lesson planned for Saturday- Wohoo! Then we are out at a show Sunday which I am so looking forward too!
Fingers crossed we achieve another clear but if we don’t, it’s not a setback just another learning point to improve on!