|Classic photo-of-a-photo moment|
He is, a god damn saint. Horse deserves a halo. (Also, this horse wears his ears WELL, getting good photos is not going to be a challenge... )
I have literally never had a horse who is so frigging easy to manage at a show.
He is quiet in his stall.
Quiet on hand walks
Quiet in warm up
Quiet at the back gate
Quiet in the ring...
Quiet in the wash rack...
He's just the same god damn horse (gelding!) everywhere, every time.
|East, but not always interested...|
So I decided those things were going to be reading my distances in the lines (face palm) and left lead changes. Because why leave well enough alone.
One of Windsor's best features is that no matter where I throw him at the jump, a) he jumps and b) he doesn't get mad.
This is in stark contrast to Prair who was unhappy (and freaked out) if you missed her distance by more than 6" either way. Her panic attacks have left me with severe PTSD about missing, but I got pretty good at not missing because I always knew were I was with her.
Winds is so adjustable, and so sensitive to contact, that when I go to take a feel and lock in on a fence, he backs off the distance (even though I swear I'm not pulling) and things go to shit.
Then I get into the lines and his stride is so adjustable I spend all 4 or 5 (or 6) strides changing everything all the time and end up somewhere I shouldn't be on the out.
This is not ideal.
(and maybe led to me leaving a stride out... MAYBE).
So, things were a bit rough on Friday for my Eq rounds (though we pulled a 2nd after we cleaned things up in our last trip) and I didn't really beat myself up because - new horse, so that was great.
Saturday, I had expectations to add some polish to everything and totally self destructed. I chipped, I pulled, I kicked, I waited, I leaned in on my changes, it was ugly. I thought my trainer was going to demote me to cross rails. really. I did. She had every reason to.
(I really like the girl at the end telling her trainer I got 5 in the 6... dammit)
Saturday left me really discouraged because, while I'm used to having issues to work out - I'm also used to FIXING THEM and not just repeating the same mistakes.
By the end of the day, Windsor had finally had enough of my bad decision making and started tuning me out, which led to better distances, but isn't exactly the end goal.
I ended up Reserve in the Eq - mostly due to that one 2nd place ribbon and a win on the flat (thank god). The other two rounds over fences were... interesting.
Sunday, we started with an Under Saddle which was going great until I let him almost step into the wrong lead right in front of the judge (BAD) and that killed it for us. I am figuring out how to find his ideal pace where he swings his shoulder a bit more and carries a nice little hunter frame. We'll dial that in next week no prob.
Finally, I had two more Hunter rounds which were EXCELLENT (given our new relative scale of tragic to acceptable) and even the parts that felt fast or tense look pretty hunter-y on video. so yay me.
Our ribbons were worse (since apparently everyone else also stepped up their game) but at least I finished the week with a solid sense of competency and excitement about what lies ahead.
All in all a great start. We ribboned in every class, which is something that I sort of expected given his CRAZY CUTE factor, but we've got a long way to go before we're kicking ass and taking names in any sort of consistent manner.
I just have to keep reminding myself that I really don't know him that well yet - we haven't been outside in big rings EVER before this and Winds also doesn't totally understand his new job description. I think once we get used to at least one of those things - we'll be a much more consistent team and maybe (just maybe) we'll get out of the baby ring.
|See you next week!!!|