Had a FANTASTIC dressage lesson on Tuesday night. My trainer literally gave me a hug afterwards because she was so impressed. Spirit deserved one too, in hindsight. She got carrots instead.
Now that a few days have passed since the Horse Trials, I have a little more distance and perspective on the whole experience. Have I had moments of depressing self pity, wondering if I've chosen the right sport? Of course. But luckily I'm an optimistic and goal-oriented person. The HT taught me some things:
- My horse is awesome. I knew this already, but she proved it yet again.
- We don't need a long warm up. 30 minutes for dressage, 20 to 30 minutes for jumping.
- I do need to be in a positive "get out there and git-r-done" mental state to be successful.
- I need to create a RESET button in my brain. If I get into trouble on course, I need to take a moment and figure out a plan, not just keep going if I'm stuck.
- I need to feel confident. Spirit needs me to exude confidence.
- I need more practice feeling and preventing a refusal - I'm still too slow to respond.
- Spirit needs more exposure to colorful/decorated jumps - and going over them without hesitation, first time presented.
We're looking into doing a small jumper show 2 weekends from now. It will give me more chances to ride under pressure, the idea being that Spirit may be a looky-loo at the new jumps and may not want to jump them at first. It will be good for both of us. More details to come.