This weekend we went to another schooling show. Two flats and a colic (not Stinker and the horse is doing much better) later we finally made it home. Minus all of the adventures I was really happy with the show. We did Intro A again and I had the added bonus of my favorite dressage judge (DJ) was riding her horse at the show.
Friday after we got up there, I had a lesson with DJ and she got after me for being too passive. Once I was more demanding with my aids he improved so much. She had us trot some and agreed with me about his right hind. It is still weak and he struggles with it in the trot, but she had me post on the incorrect diagonal going to the right and that seemed to help quite a bit. We also talked about my indecision about how to approach things with the trot and his weakness. She wants me to do short bits of trot regularly and keep up the lunge work I have been doing, because he has been improving and it gives him a chance to think things own without me.
Saturday, I didn't have my ride until the afternoon and I was struggling with my nerves. Once I got on the main warm up area was quite crowded and there was lots of cantering going on, so we went over to a secondary ring that had been set up for an FEI show previously. We walked and trotted over there and he was going really nicely. As it got closer to my ride time, we moved over to the main warm up area which had cleared out a bit and mostly had Intro riders (so no cantering). He handled warm up quite well.
He did not like his back neighbor
We did have one spook when he realized there were riders out on XC and towards the end he was getting himself worked up a bit. Next time I think I will cut my warm up a little shorter and see if I can avoid that. I was in the ring that is across the road from stadium. Last time that resulted in lots of staring in that direction. He didn't look at stadium at all this time. He spooked at the judges stand (someone let the door slam right as he was approaching it) so I walked him by it multiple times and they were nice and talked to him.
Blurry picture from the test
The test was about as good as we could put together now. It was a massive improvement from our first one, but he is still way too tense. I did put a couple extra circles in to get him back together when he was getting really strung out and I think it helped a lot. I had to laugh at the end, because the judge asked if I knew that I received an error each time I did an extra circle. I said, "Yes I know." She looked shocked and said, "Really?"
Pretty blue participation ribbon
I was really pleased with the fact that we got a 7 on our halt. Standing is not a strong point for him, standing square for 3 seconds is almost impossible for him. Typically he will pause and then try to creep forward. I do think he is starting to get the whole show thing. And as an added bonus he loaded and unloaded really well. We are not going to be Intro A champions any time soon, but we are making steady progress and he is learning that warm up and the show ring aren't terrifying.