Big thank you to Nina for the use of her camera and uploading the video from this past weekends show. Usually when I watch video or see pictures of myself ride, I pick myself apart to the point that I don't want anyone else to see it.
This time I am going to share it with you, faults and all. I'm actually pretty pleased with this pattern. I know what we need to work on to improve it. I would have liked to see Grace's head a little lower, I was surprised by how high it was when I first saw the video. I just need to remember to add leg to get her back up, which will result in her head coming down.
My favorite part of this entire pattern is that I stayed relaxed. I have a tendency to creep up on my reins at shows and ride off my hands. I left my horse alone and let her do her thing. That is a huge step! I also wasn't nervous walking into the arena. That was a new feeling for me.
We we schooled the night before at the show, Sarah had me get up off Grace's back on the fast circles and let her go. I had not been doing that at home. She felt great with me out of her way. My biggest concern was that if I let her go, she would not come back to me for the small circles. No only did she come back to me, but all I had to do was sit down and she was right there.
On the large circles to the right Grace dumped her shoulder twice and fell in on the circle. We worked on it Friday night, turns out the issue is my body position. I tend to sit to the left while on the right lead and it throws my horse out of balance. The fix is for me to look over my right shoulder while in a right lead circle. It puts my body back where it belongs. This is something we will be working on at home.
Grace anticipated the lead change to the right and switched her lead early. Might need to do some counter canter before the next show, and make her wait to change until I give the ok. I really liked her last change to the left. This is a big deal because the left lead can be a challenge for her. If she is going to miss a change, is usually will be right to left. Grace swung her hind end to the left on the stop. This is her way of protecting her left hock. Sarah gave me some exercises to work on before the next show to help with this.
The best part of the pattern you don't see on the video. When we started to walk out of the arena, Grace started to prance. She was doing her "I'm all that and a box of chocolates" dance. She'll get no argument from me.