Monday, November 19, 2012

What to wear

As we begin to contemplate showing, it occurs to me there are wardrobe issues to consider--mine and Calabar's. How much does it all matter at the super-duper beginner level? Can I show in the English Pleasure classes with my dressage saddle? What do I NEED to actually look the part in either English Pleasure or dressage? Do I have to pull and/or braid Calabar's mane? (Like I have any idea whatsoever how to do that.)

Calabar tolerates a lot just because he is my pony
I realize that I'm way ahead of myself here. We have a lot of work to do to even begin to be ready and worrying about what to wear (or what not to wear) is a trivial thing compared to actually being able to ride in the ring with other horses (or alone) and not have a major meltdown.

Not to mention that before we even get to the schooling shows we need to do prior to the journey down south to the BIG show, we have to introduce just a few key things to the big brown horse. Things Sparky and Amelia and Ellen have all helped us work on like moving forward into contact, engaging the hind end and connecting it to the front end--just minor concepts.

The good news is we are actually progressing on that piece of this puzzle. Calabar is responding nicely to wiggling ring fingers and acknowledging that the reins actually have some relation to his hind feet. Our walk-trot transitions are continuing to smooth out and he very nearly automatically drops his head into the right place at the walk and we are getting there at the trot. I think it must feel better to him because he is responding so well. I know he feels better to ride most of the time, too, and I get moments in time where I can feel that big hind end coming into play.

Best of all, we are both trying and we are both learning. At the end of each ride, I can laugh and hug him and tell him he's a good boy and he knows he's done a good job. So even if we're not perfect, even if we have a a long ways to go to even be remotely show-worthy, we are having a good time and enjoying each other.

That right there makes plotting for the show worth it--even if we never get there and I never actually have to worry about what we're wearing.

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