Overall I'm a pretty analytical person which results in me feeling oddly ok with everything that's going on. I also like to look on the positive side of things so I'm in the "optimistic realist" camp for most everything without exception. As I think back over what happened yesterday, I'm struggling to make a plan or draw conclusions about my rides yesterday.
So first, I rode both Jade AND Simon yesterday. This is a first for me and I feel accomplished that that was finally done (my body would argue but it can shut it right now). My ride with Jade went well. We accomplished what I wanted, built a little on the foundation we've worked on and I enjoyed myself. Mission accomplished.
Now for Simon.
I know a big part of what is going on with me and him is lack of training plans (or perhaps too many and not a solid Plan A?). I do try to have one, but then I get on him and he feels decent, then not, then really not, then I focus and try to pull on things from lessons and my knowledge and we get something sort of passable. The canter is going to be an issue for us but hell if I can't get that thing to a decent point ever when I'm on my own. It's annoying and I'm not sure what to do. I could have probably been better with my shoulders a little. That's about the only thing I can think of but I know it must've been more as it was crap for a while. I opted to work on some of my cowboy things with him when it was all going to shit and I think it helped a little with the results but I sacrificed a little of his relaxation as he was a bit WHAT ARE WE DOING OMG afterwards. Even though it balanced him up and I was able to leave his face alone to get where we needed. I KNOW to use more inside leg but he wasn't having any of that. We went down to the trot to reconfirm that but it simply wasn't crossing over to the canter at all.
I even wrecked our good right lead canter for a while. (Although I was able to end with something decent on that but we couldn't do the leg yield fundamentals we'd tried this past weekend without issue).
I was trying to get more canter done as I know more canter is really what's going to help me feel more comfortable on troubleshooting it but I also know that having him all nice and awesome at the walk and trot helps that too. I need to figure out a way to get the pieces together and I know I'm the weak point (obviously) but its frustrating that I can be decent in a lesson (granted sometimes after a while) but at home its just crap. I guess I should realize that we DID end up with 4 strides or so of good canter in both directinos which is more than we've gotten before at the house. I DID learn more about transitions with him (even if he was appalled at my spurs still).
We'll keep working and I'm trying hard to ignore the fact that we've spent $400+ on a show in 3.5 weeks that I'm now not sure we can pull off decent canters in. A lot can change in that time, I know, but I'm going to have to figure out a realistic plan, stick to it, and hope it was the right one.
I guess here's my list to work on:
Test how much my seat is affecting him (or not) in the canter
Round pen work? This would be more for me to get a good feel but he's also rubbish at cantering that way on his own soooo...
Figure out how to get a reliable transition without him skittering (we're doing pretty ok on this)
I'll figure it out, but its soo hard to be on a horse that does so well and I feel like I'm messing it up. Granted there's going to be some retraining him to work for me (or me to work for him) but its frustrating sometimes. Just need to focus on the fact that he's only been here 4 weeks and we're doing really really well for that time frame. I also found myself wanting to get back on Jade ASAP which was a revelation, but at the same time, I reminded myself that I didn't feel the same about her even a month ago so yeah. Time (y). I just hope I didn't throw money away for this show (but then again, I always want to wait until we're 100% perfect and hence me never entering a recognized show before so yeah).