I couldnt help but feel touched by the comments I read from my last post. I have a lot of people that really care about mine and Milo's best interests. It was hard to decide to post the video because I felt really embarrassed by the performance, but I'm happy I did. I went back and watched it again today, with difficulty, and found it wasnt as terrible as I once judged it to be now that I watched it with a less critical eye.
Melissa is right - it was a schooling show with the purpose being to school, and that I was able to do and glad I had. Even from the immediate bobble by over spinning in the beginning, the last two spins did allow me to practice them a little more :) but moreover, as I watched the spins the first two turnarounds we did to the left were quite nice as compared to what we were doing this time last year. Although they werent the same that I know we have been schooling at home, they are improving.
I have to admit that although the circles didn't feel like nice round circles, Milo really stayed quite steady with me throughout them, even with the shoulder bulges and ducks. For the most part, they were cadenced and well, considering that I wasnt truly riding my horse with my seat. Again, the lope has also come far since this time last year and I must give Milo props for trying to lope without me really being there for him.
I'm going to skip over the lead changes because I already stated what I felt happened, but I should add that Sarah pointed out to me that I was throwing my shoulder into the lead change which made my seat come off of Milo, really emphasizing to him that I disappeared. Not to mention that the forward balance of my shoulder just puts Milo more on the front end then the hind where he needs to be for a good change. Heres one thing though: at least we are trying lead changes, we werent this time last year!
Although the rundowns and stops werent what I knew we could do, even in the video it is noticable that he is more over his hind end then he was before. I have been getting great stops at home, but the lack of my riding my horse really showed in those stops.
Sarah said to me today as she helped me clean stalls that she believes the universe has us in situations that we need to be in. She believes that we are at this new facility with it's smaller arena for a purpose. Anyone can ride in a large arena, but it takes skill to ride, correctly, in a small one. Maybe this smaller arena is going to really make me learn how to time my cues and gain the real shoulder control that I need, as well as loosing the anticipation (anxiety) in my body of "OMG the next corner is coming up!". She is probably right, Sarah is always right. Just another hurdle I need to overcome to better my horsemanship. Riding is so hard.
But on the plus side, with the weather being so freaking cold here, and being so tired after cleaning stalls in the morning, when I made it to see Milo is afternoon instead of heading to the arena, I only grabbed my headstall and climbed aboard my completely bare horse's back with the aid of the bumper on my truck. I had no plan of what I was going to do, but I knew completely bare would keep me warmer, and and I really just wanted to enjoy my horse on that cold afternoon. We walked to the end of the driveway, then down along the quiet back country road to each end, then mosied out onto some of the foreign trail. We even found a nice water view:
It really helped me enjoy my horse and clear my mind, then go back to the upset of the weekend and try and read between the frustration. It was a good thing I think.