I got to ride a second time this week, which is practically a miracle considering the weather lately and my limited schedule. My goal for the ride was to keep Baron from rushing at the trot and keep him at a slow, controlled pace until I asked him to speed up. My biggest issue with him lately is that he wants to go fast right from the get-go; he is not interested in walking. He wants to trot or, even better, canter! I always start my ride in a small pasture and do some circles and trot work. Then we go for a little trail ride, usually on a loose rein. The first part of the ride is for me to get better- practice posting, practice circles, etc… The second part of the ride is where Baron gets to do some sight-seeing and relax. During the first part of the ride, he rushes through the circles and tries to go out the gate to hurry up and start out for the trail. So this time I insisted that he do a few circles at the walk and then some slow, controlled trot work- no speeding up, no pulling me toward the gate. Once I felt like he had calmed down and was listening to me, I let him go out the gate toward the trail. We did a little trotting and cantering on the dirt road on the way to the woods, but we walked most of the time. I didn’t get as much of a workout as I would have liked, but I was happy that I was able to calm him down and get him tuned into me.
In other news, I have most likely lost my mind. Here’s why: I am considering riding in a hunter schooling show on February 13th. I’ll only do walk/ trot classes, all in the Adult Beginner Division. A friend of mine who has shown with this group before told me that it’s very laid back. No one braids, no one body clips. It’s all about having a good time and getting some experience for your horse. That was great news to me, because I have no intention of body clipping Baron’s already meager winter coat, and I’ve never braided before so I would probably make a mess of it. I confessed to her that I am ever so anxious about showing because I feel like I’m generally clueless about the show world. This would, after all, be only my second show EVER. I am quite paranoid about being the worst rider in the class, but I suppose everyone has to start somewhere. The good news about this group is that they have an ADULT beginner class, which means I would not be competing against eight year olds on ponies! If I get beat soundly, at least it will be by people my own age!
The show is on a Saturday and pre-registration ends Wednesday. My friend advised me to wait til the week of the show, see how I feel and how the weather is shaping up, and then register at the last minute if I decide to do it. As of right now, my show jacket still buttons over my baby belly, so we’ll see if that’s still the case in 3 weeks. I know I am somewhat crazy to try and ride in a show while pregnant, but it’s my last chance before I give birth in May. I hate letting opportunities pass me by!