After our jump school on Tuesday I wasn't able to get out to the barn on Wednesday even though I was originally planning on riding every day this week in preparation for our show.
Thursday I decided that regardless of the mound of homework I had to do, I would prefer riding to sleep. Hellooo late night homework.
Our ride was ok. Two things that were sort of rough, our right lead canter, both upwards and downwards transitions suck for some reason. I know that's her weaker side, but still. They were quite rough. Then the bracing. But I felt that at least Jetta got a lot softer by the end of our ride and we managed to do some nice trot loops and 10 m half circles.
Friday I discovered Jetta destroyed the new toy I bought her. It was on sale for $10 at the local feed store and I liked the idea of it so I got it. As soon as I took it out of the box I was disappointed. And I couldn't return a sale item. The ball was slightly deflated and the strings that were supposed to be tight and elastic were SO LOOSE. I tied a huge knot to take some of the slack out but they still weren't tight enough. I hung it up anyways and filled it with treats. When I left, Jetta was happily attacking it.
Enter Friday, the ball is no longer in the toy, it's lying on the ground. Fail. This toy gets a thumbs down from me. I might try to salvage it and put the ball back inside the little cage of string then try to reinflate it (which I have no idea how to do...) but it might not even be worth it. Major design flaws - the ball is deflatable, unlike a jolly ball. Strings are way too loose and not adjustable, and there are two strings for hanging the ball on either end, this makes it super easy for the horse to stick their nose on top and push down on the ball.
Anyways, our ride went much better than the day before. Jetta was a lot softer and more flexible so we warmed up with a lot of circles and serpentines which seemed to really agree with her. We cantered both ways and the canter too was softer, transitions were better. I went to canter again to the right and Jetta tried to fast trot into it, which I didn't allow her to do so I set her up again and made her do it correctly. This of course made her upset so when we went back to the trot she was very anticipatory and it took a while for her to calm down again.
At the end, the barn kitty (also known as "my cat") got to ride around with me on Jetta. It was adorable.
Goals for our show:
- Minimum of a 65% at Training Level
- Minimum of a 60% at First Level
- No bucking
- Score an "8" on the free walk
- No cantering in our lengthened trots
- Stay inside the dressage arena
- Don't get any comments about rider needing to sit back or put shoulders back
The plan is to ride today (lunge in side reins first) then give Jetta a bath, braid her, load and hook up trailer. Then on Sunday we will leave in plenty of time to get there and be able to get ready at a reasonable pace. I plan on lunging in side reins before we leave, then if there's a good place to lunge there I will do so once more before I ride. I'm just hoping this isn't a disaster!