Thriving vs. Surviving: Critical Thinking In The Show Ring
|Want this canter. All the time.|
We scored a 61.9% in T2, which I was a bit disappointed in. I've got no idea how we placed in the class since scoring wasn't finished up yet by the time we left, but I'd honestly be happy with 6th place with a score like that! We'll see in a few days if I get to snag another bit of satin for our collection. [We DID get a lovely 3rd place ribbon from our last show!]
|Not riding with critical thinking skillz.|
In the test he was quite tense, despite my attempts at deep breathing and being relaxed, and our stretchy trot wasn't really there. The free walk was mildly better, with Dino coming into a good stretch by the end of the short diagonal, but he hollowed when I asked him to come back up into a working frame.
|TENSION? WHAT TENSION?!?!|
The judge encouraged me to work towards more suppleness and throughness, as well as more forward, which I was expecting to hear! She also suggested that I use the ring and the movements to improve Dino's way of going - ask for more bend in the corners, use the circles to get him softer, you know, ride the movements in awareness of their purpose - to make the horse better.
This was a huge lightbulb moment for me.
|Much, much better.|
We are so much better than that.
I still have such a hard time trusting that Dino will do what I ask in the show ring, and I need to cut out that nonsense and RIDE through our tests, not just hang on and hope things turn out okay. I ride so much better at home and in lessons because I'm not worried about keeping it together, I'm just doing whatever I think Dino needs in the moment to improve our performance. If I can take that attitude into our dressage tests, I think our scores will improve by leaps and bounds. If I can just use my critical thinking 'trainer brain' AND show at the same time, imagine how much better we would be?!
|Our halts might even be square AND round!|