Saturday, October 19, 2013

Show Preparation - Themes I am Keeping in my Head

For the most part, I am not into showing. I like dressage for the effect it has on my horse and I and our riding.   The relaxation and improved effectiveness of my aids.  The way that our aids have become lighter and yet more effective.  I don't like all the primping that goes into the ten minutes that showing allows as I'd rather spend that time actually riding.

Successful Chapter Challenge Show - hope to repeat!
Despite that, I do show occasionally.   One of our upcoming shows is the Chapter Challenge where we compete in a group of four riders whose compiled rides are scored against the other Chapters in our Association.   Since Golly and I haven't shown lately, in preparation we are doing a show tomorrow.

During my lessons this week we have worked on lots of things to get ready but I am trying to focus on just a few of them to make sure the most important ones stay to the forefront.
  • Keep my weight on the back side of the saddle. I have a tendancy (and Golly has a tendancy to push me there) to sit too far forward and start "climbing his shoulders".  When I sit back and open my legs he responds with more energy and freedom. 
  • Relaxation.  Don't give up the relaxation to get more energy.  Golly is NOT energetic and when you ask past the level of energy he is ready for, he loses the relaxation.  The show atmosphere should give us enough extra oomph... don't get greedy and ask for so much that it sacrifices the base of the pyramid -- relaxation.
  • Straightness.   And for us this straightness is going to come from contact on the outside rein.   When I ask for just the feeling of a counterbend (it feels to me like we are really counterbending but my trainer and others on the ground let me know it really is not), I am getting the straightness.  And don't forget to give on the inside - can't take unless I give as well.
  • Accuracy.  Don't make my circles bigger than 20 meters.   I have been making them a bit too large which means that they are actually eggs.  Circles are the same all around.
I am sure lots of other little tidbits from my trainer will be running through my head but focusing on these should get me to a good place.   I'll let you know how it goes.
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