Took my very reactive youngster (7, but coming off nearly a year plus of lay-up/light work) to another show. The last one was a muddy, rainsoaked, bronc-ride of a show, though we managed to eke out 60.% on each test).
This time the weather was cool but warming and he behaved fairly well. He certainly was FORWARD!! We got a 65% on TL, T2 and placed 2nd (of 6 or 7). 1st place was 65.714%. During the second test, however, some other competitor decided to tour around the outside of the show arena as I did my test. WTF??? The judge said nothing and I have no idea where the TD or Ring Stewart was. Yeah, I know, he should pay attention to me, not that other horse, but he hasn't achieved that level of focus yet. So despite my best efforts, we got several remarks about being counterflexed. Heck, he drifting off the rail in an arc to the inside of the dressage arena, while I wasy trying to straighten and bend him, and then he blew up in the canter circle. We recovered and finished the test, but only got a 56% on that one. Someday he WILL pay attention (I hope) - or will the Arab part continue to be a spaz??? ROFLOL
Whatever, it was a definite improvement over previous efforts and a lot better focus, at least in the first test.
Yeah, between 4.5 and 5.5, I got him out to a few shows and he was settling in and paying attention, but then he got hurt and the layup and rehab were difficult. Now, it's like starting over from square one, both for showing and trail riding (Yikes!). The first test was really a marked improvement, so I'm trying to convince myself that he's settling down again. I know people say, "If he's truly on the bit, he won't react to those distractions...." but he's young and silly enough that he can be nicely on the bit, but with a horse's range of vision, if he sees something he WANTS to look more closely at, he's going to try, no matter what I do. Sigh. Patience and keep trying, I guess. LOL
The more times you apply the inside leg,and get the correct bend, the more times you half halt and get the correct reaction, the more likely that you will get the correct reaction when you really need it.
Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.
Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.