Winter Series: March 12 Show
Lately, we've been working on a lot of this...
|Working towards a cleaner turn-around|
Some days, it is harder than others. Realistically, what Lady and I have been up too since the last show is finessing movements at slower levels. Then, my boss gets on her, and fine tunes all the speed related stuff that i'm still struggling with. Lady's new regime is basically focusing on getting her back to that big time cutter she used to be. She's kind of like a big sorrel onion (that's an image for you, right there!) and every time my boss, or myself, works her, we find a new level to her that we didn't know she had before. It's actually pretty crazy and exciting! More and more she's starting to feel like this really competitive open horse, where as, back when I first got her, I would have more or less described her as a couch potato I was forcing out of retirement. She's definitely not lazy, and she's definitely not dull. Sometimes, this new, "sparked up" version of Lady can intimidate me, but this new regime has caused us both to perk up and put in some pretty serious work. Her homework is to get more correct, especially in her stops and turns. She needs to stop hard and then pivot on her hocks and leave, instead of coming up the pen and trying to barrel turn. My homework is to get quieter and calmer with my hands, and to use my feet above anything else. I also had Lady's stifles and hocks injected a week before this show, she's 12 and regular maintenance is just a reality if I want to show her regularly and not have her breakdown. I definitely think the added lubricant made her feel good, and happy to start rocking back on those hocks like we need!
The last month has definitely been a bootcamp for both Lady & I, and some days it's mentally and physically easier on us than others, but it's coming together. We've literally tried every bit under the sun, and now i've actually changed saddles into a Jeff Smith my boss has. The seat is a 16" but feels even smaller than that, whereas my old Roo-hide is probably a 17". The pocket is a bit deeper in the Jeff Smith, and I felt like I was sitting a bit better and had more movement and swing in my legs than in my own saddle. The switch to the new saddle was a good one, I definitely felt like I was able to sit down and move better at the show with Lady than in my previous saddle, where I felt I was flopping around a bit more. We've also dropped my stirrups a bit to aid in using my legs and feet more, and the first couple times it definitely felt a little different, but now it's really working.
|Queen of hating photos, and hating her jammies. |
She pee's all over her back wraps the night before a show, total brat defiance at it's finest. ;)
This show went really well, although we only marked a 62, it was once again pilot error. HOWEVER, Lady feels amazing, every single show she gets better, but so do I. I felt like I was riding better than I ever have before. I still let some nervousness get in the way of actually getting a good score, but I also was able to combat that nervousness and quell it in the show pen, so I'm pretty proud of that.
Now - for the good stuff - roll tape...
My herd help had me pick a little yellow cow up at the top of the herd, so that's what we went for. I could have been a bit smoother with this cut, but in the end, we got it cut. Lady is pretty much just BOSS LIFE with this cow, she got it trapped and we exhibited good control over it. I can't believe how hard she's stopping, and how much she's really thinking smart and accurate. These are the kind of cows I'm okay to play with all day long. The judge scored me for an out of position at one point, but it's hard to tell where that was in the video.
Damn Nervous System - Back at It Again to Ruin My Show!
Same old Louisa, my corner guy pointed out a few cows, and I should have just drowned him out, but it got me all freaked out. So I went for one cow, when the cow I SHOULD HAVE GONE FOR WAS RIGHT THERE. grrrr. However, when the cow I chose ran me over, the other cow was right there, so I was able to just switch over to it. This is a big penalty, BUT, Lady doesn't know the difference in a "switch" score wise, and because of that she didn't get nervous and prancey like she has in the past when things have gone awry. I'm quite proud I was able to calmly think, and then switch to that other cow and salvage the run for both myself and my horse. I think that shows some mental progress and I'm pretty happy with myself that I'm slowly getting over the nerves.
Once we got on this cow, Lady worked well, again the judge scored us for getting a little out of position because we do on that right side. We are working on it at home, it's coming, pretty soon we're going to be lean, mean fighting machines that can keep up with the rest of the class, but for now, I'm pretty chuffed with how the show went and will wear my 62 proudly!
|Our score card - progress!|