That includes Kat and I. We all strive for perfection and ride or drive the horse we have at any given event on that particular day. We ask for everything they've got, take what we can get and go home thinking "Okay we need to work on this, here is where we can improve" and consider what we need to do. We set our goals, check our calendar dates and shoot for the best.
So what do Kat and I need to work on?
Well water hazards would be one at the top of the list. How is he ever going to be competitive if he won't get in the damned water? The shortest, quickest route through the gates is usually- through the water. The few seconds it takes to go around- could cost you dearly in matters of tough competitions. Sometimes there is NO going around...
Another thing we need to work on- slowing things down. I put him to the cart on Sunday to go out through the neighborhood. He is easily bored going around and around in the arena, behaved at the competition in wide open spaces, so it's time to move things along and start going out.
I let him stand for a bit and asked him to wait until I was ready to go. Which he wasn't thrilled about. He kept creeping. One step, another step, creep, creep, creep... which was annoying to me too. Creep, creep, creep, creep, creep... The more you creep, the longer we have to wait. Finally I got into the cart and still the creeping. Walked to the gate, stop, get out to open the gate- more creeping. Anyone remember back to the show in September last year? He kept creeping on me in the class? It's become a habit of his and it needs to stop.
To him, when I get in the cart it is 'Go Time!' Admittedly, I tend to think so too. But Sunday I had to slow it down for both of us. Some days when we go out, it will not be safe to just go through the gate and pick up a trot. When you reach the stop sign and crossroads, there may be traffic coming. There will be times when your horse needs to stop and stand still, not be fussy and fidgety.
As much as I wanted to just let him pick up the trot, burn off some steam and then settle down to work or just walk, I too had to fight that urge and slow things down. We managed to log about a mile and a half as we walked to the end of the street, around the corner to the next small street and head back, but with horses on one side or the other, new things to look at and all kinds of stuff to see, Kat was a bit wound. He settled down and really walked out a few times and when we hit the driveway coming home- he sort of deflated and let it all go. No need to impress anyone anymore...
A few times he started to try to pick up the pace a bit and met with having to stop altogether, wait until you relax and sigh, then walk on. It was tough for both of us, but something we have to do now and then. Slow down and take a look around us. Appreciate the quietness of an early Sunday morning drive. Even if all we do is go out for a long walk.
Sept 10th, ADT - Paulden
Sept 11th, Schooling show with two driving classes, QC
October 8th, Schooling show - QC
October 8th, ADT - Prescott
October 21-23rd, Grass Ridge CDE, Sonoita *
*Entries for the CDE open Aug. 26th and close Sept. 22nd. The marathon course is 12 km or roughly 7.5 miles. Entries are first come-first serve.