I desperately want to start showing Baron. I have visions of ribbons as I go to sleep at night. Blue ribbons, red ribbons, yellow ribbons; whatever, I just want a freakin’ horse show ribbon! However, I do not want to roll up to a show until I am confident that I will do well. I don’t mean win a ribbon, I mean be able to control my horse and not have an embarassing situation. “Doing well” would mean nothing bad happening! With the goal of showing in mind, I made some goals for myself as a rider and for Baron.
Goals for Me (Please keep in mind that I’m a beginner!):
- Work on posting/ rising trot so that I am as comfortable at the trot as I am at the walk.
- Refine my aids and use the reins less. I want to have quieter hands and rely more on my legs and seat.
- Spend a lot of time trotting in two-point to improve my balance and leg position.
- Stop relying so much on my voice, since I won’t be allowed to use it if I do any dressage shows. Get Baron to respond to the other aids instead of clucking to speed him up and saying “whoa” to slow him down.
- Learn to canter!
Goals for Baron (also essentially a beginner!):
- Begin working him over ground poles to improve balance and teach him how to collect.
- After he gets the hang of ground poles, start free jumping him on the lunge over teeny tiny crossrails.
- Improve his “Whoa” action!
- Teach him to keep an even pace at the walk and trot. Right now he speeds up and slows down whenever the notion strikes him. This is where half halting comes in handy.
- Finally, I would like for him to be more obedient under saddle. This comes with time as he learns to trust and respect me. Right now he sometimes refuses to move forward or sidesteps when I ask him to go forward. Alois Podjhasky (sp?) says a horse is supposed to be “calm, forward and straight.” Currently he is only accomplishing this when he is in the mood to be compliant!