Still Thinking About the Show

In fact, today I was more upset about the show than I was on Sunday.  I really felt like I let PJ down.  Here he was, terrified and overwhelmed, and I wasn’t able to provide him the comfort he needed to relax.

At my lesson I talked it over with Barbara.  It’s good to have a support system.  She hadn’t realized that PJ had been afraid. She had thought that he had just been distracted.  She told me that I shouldn’t feel bad.  First, everyone’s scores were unusually low.  In Intro, the judge was giving 50s to steady-eddy ponies, and writing comments about needing more bend – which is not required at Intro.  Second, just the fact that PJ let me ride him and didn’t totally freak out meant that he did feel I was there for him.  A horse who didn’t trust his rider would have tried to get out of there and fast.  Third, I gave him what he needed to make it a good experience for him.  When he picked up the wrong lead and got rattled, instead of trying to force him to canter, I brought him back to trot and didn’t ask again so that he could go back to doing something he was comfortable with.  I made it a schooling session, which is what he needed – that was a good choice.

I am still going over in my mind what I could have done differently – shorter reins, more transitions and changes of direction while schooling, hand walked him around more, etc.  Really what I must do is go to more shows.  Unfortunately, I am at the mercy of those with a truck and trailer.  Anyone in Flemington, NJ area have some room in their trailer and wouldn’t mind a big black gelding tagging along to some dressage shows??????!!!!  Seriously, anyone?

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