|Tall wall -- minimal distractions.
With that in mind, I think my plan before entering another indoor show will be to try to find as many indoors that allow trailer in schooling as possible to expose her to lots of new venues. There are also plenty of outdoor schooling shows we can work towards in the meantime! I can think of at least three indoors that offer haul-in rides, so I'll have to start hitting those up on free weekends (free weekends? what are those?).
|We like to ride outside!
However, the other issue I’ve been trying to mentally solve is her favorite evasion in new situations – backing up. She did it once at home when we were trail riding, but we worked through it and it hasn’t happened again. But at both the WWU show last fall and then again this weekend, when she got mentally “stuck”, she started backing. Even with totally slack reins, the only gear we had was reverse.
|An example of one of the "nopes" from this weekend's test.
She’s very sensitive to changes in my seat, so after the first test, I thought maybe I was inadvertently tensing and making her think that back was her only option, so I made a concerted effort to stay extra relaxed and a little “up” off her back. Still got stuck in reverse.
|Forward is never a problem at home!
I’m fairly certain most of it is a combination of baby shenanigans and just a general lack of trust in me as a leader at the moment. Her training has been so sporadic and while she trusts me way more on the ground than she used to, things seem to change when I’m in the saddle. I think the only solution to both of those problems is just wet saddle pads and new experiences. I also thing just by virtue of being a purebred vs. a partbred Spanish horse, she is just always going to be more spooky by nature than Ruby or Topaz, who each had a dose of calm QH blood to keep their heads on a little straighter.
|Silly, spastic, hotblooded purebreds :)
And while I do find the backing kind of annoying, there are definitely worse evasions she could have – teleporting spooks, rearing, bolting, spinning – lots of other nastier options! How about you? What’s your horse’s go-to evasion, and how did you overcome it?
|Gratuitous shots from last week's session pre-show because I'm just now getting around to editing them! haha