I have discovered lately that my favorite blogs are the ones that end in mild suspense. What will happen next? How will the show go? How does the horse place? Is she going to get better quickly? So, in that frame of mind, I'm going to be a turkey, and spread out the show schooling & classes over the next few days. We both did well, and Ransom and I have discussed the issue - we both need a few days off. He'll get grooming, cookies, and some stretches, but nothing serious for at least the next few days. Please enjoy my long drawn-out re-telling of the events.
I saddled up for a last-review lesson before the show weekend. As Jen arrived, we were nearly done with our lunging side rein warm-up. Ransom had settled in, loose side reins, moving along at an ambling trot & canter. His "whoa" on the line was decent, though nothing to praise him for.
I expected the same very anxious pushy canter we'd been riding all week. I thoroughly anticipated it, and even had told Jen, "I know it's last minute, but I hope he does it again so I can get some tips to share."
As I asked for the canter, imagine my surprise, when he was awesome! Little booger! Heading left, Ransom was steady and collected, only popping his head up briefly for the transitions. His trot was a little slow and short, but I got the job done.
The only piece Jen saw, was my driving hips. As it turns out, I was pushing his canter heading right, probably without realizing it. When I asked for it again later, I concentrated very hard to simply ride the stride, and not push or drive. Just let my hips move with him, rather than force it. Much better! Exactly what he needs - ask, and leave 'im alone. This is a repeating pattern with Ransom - nagging & pestering get me nowhere, pushing makes it worse. The best way to ride him, is to ask, and get outta the way.
We chose to keep the lesson ride short, since the next two days would bring many challenges. Would the drive up there be peaceful, or would I have to slam on the brakes and the horn on the state highway leading to the neighborhood the barn is in? Would Ransom remember what life was like locked in a jail cell we call stalls? And what was he going to do with all those horses around? Was he going to spook into never-never-land at the first sight of the train beside the barn? More importantly, how was I going to handle it? Romeo's last trip up there wasn't exactly worth remembering.
I got all my chores done Friday, leaving only a few last-minute tasks for Saturday. All things packed, washed, ironed, cleaned, and organized, we were ready around 1:30pm to pull out of the driveway.
Let the adventure begin!