Monday, April 17, 2017

Enter a show and everything goes to shit

I scheduled our 4th level debut and first show of 2017 recently, and everything immediately began to fall apart completely. Isn't that always the way?
"Ugh. I hate fourth level. I hate square halts. I hate being sound. I hate not spooking. I hate being relaxed." -- Pig, probably
I knew the first show at 4th level was going to be a trainwreck, but our schooling just before I put in the entry was looking pretty good. Okay. No. It was looking VERY good.
As in, holy shit who is this pair kind of good. 
We'd had some struggles earlier in the spring. One when I started schooling more in the saddle and Pig was pretty sure he forgot how to move in one.
"Wat dis? How do? Plz explain..."
But we worked through that by putting the saddle on more often and being regimented about the work required. Then... oh man. Then we struggled with Pig realizing the double and the saddle meant hard work, and he began stressing out before we even got started. It's really cool when your horse lathers up at the halt. Literally. At the halt.
Pictured: Horse looking for the cause of his sweat-soaked distress, and a dog being Queen Derp.
I thought we'd work through that by riding in the saddle and the double every single day for a few weeks, through hard work and hacks both.
And look pretty damn good while doing it, I must say.
That seemed to do the trick for awhile, but I think overplayed my hand... literally.
Heh. Puns.
Also, WTF am I even doing here?
Pig started to feel trapped in the contact. Instead of lifting up more in front like he had been, he started diving down more and more on his shoulders. Ugh. In addition, his right hind started giving us trouble again.
Mom. The right hind. It needs pharmaceutical assistance again.
Yep, injection time was approaching again. Thankfully, I'd anticipated doing another injection just before show season. This setback wasn't a huge surprise.
What was a surprise? Well, along with intermittent arthritis issues, contact issues, and basic soreness from hard work, we've been dealing with a bit of an...attitude problem?

Yeah... it's been a bit wild and hairy over here. Some days I'm riding a killer 4th level horse, and we're both ready to conquer the world.
"Captain Guinness here, reporting for flying change duty."
Then some days I'm riding a powder keg that doesn't believe he can turn right, or left, or stop, or go. It's been a confidence booster, let me tell you.
Pictured: Me, sweating bullets. Pig, freaking out.
We're trying to cope, though. I'm taking some time off the pressure with Pig. More time in the snaffle doing the work, and more time in the double going for long walks on the beach in the creek.
Yes, yes. Sane people always take the water-adverse spooky horse deep into the woods alone.
The show is around the corner whether we're ready or not. I need to trust that the training is in there. It's better for us both to go in relaxed and happy athletes than to drill the test movements until we die.
Channeling more of this, plz.
Still, I'd really like to run through that test more than once before riding it in the ring. It's funny how time can feel so short sometimes. Anyone else in full panic mode about upcoming shows or am I cornering the market over here?