I need to start journaling again. Rob and I have hit a small funk, and after making a bunch of Christmas gifts I’ve realized how much better I feel when I have a creative outlet. Plus, reading my journal entries from last year are helping me with the funk I’m in now!
So, it’s been almost a year since I last wrote here. Rob and I spent the year doing a lot of learning, although it wasn’t really anything you could see from watching her.
- I really need to be brave, confident, and relaxed at all times. I learned this lesson the hard way – almost exclusively through the shows we did this summer. The more brave and confident I am, the less likely she is to misbehave. The more relaxed I am, the better she’ll perform.
- My own education is 90% of what’s holding us back right now. We’re still working on what we were last year – a confirmed, on the bit frame – but that frame has really been upgraded to a true dressage frame. We were going very well until about a week ago, when the indoor was closed for new footing. We then managed to lose a lot of our recent progress, which caused me to get upset and make it worse. It all comes back to relaxation.
- Missing a week of riding made me realize how much I rely on it for stress relief.
- Rob is really turning into a nice horse. She has great ground manners nowadays, is still great for pony rides and newbies, and is really very sweet. Mary-Lou asked me to clip Zap’s chest a couple weeks ago and that really made me appreciate Robbye. Man, it’s nice to have a tolerant, patient horse. Not that I would have used those words two years ago!
- Rob is great on the longe. She’s fairly consistent with her transitions, even within gaits. This is huge progress from the beginning of the year.
- I’ve been riding Newton a bit as he get trained and it’s making me really introspect about my riding and communication styles. He needs a light, steady, deep ride – something Robbye could benefit from as well. It all comes back to RELAXATION!