Sunday's ride was a let down for me. Not because Bobby was naughty or because anything went horribly wrong, but more because I felt like I made some bad decisions and took advantage of Bobby's (generally) good nature. He was being such a love the whole time. He wanted snuggles in his stall while tacking up, and he warmed up on the flat so well. I really took the time to focus on bending at the walk before moving on to anything else and he was much more flexible the rest of the ride. Since Hubby was on hand again I decided to do another jump school, but I didn't really have a game plan going in.
I started off the same as Saturday with just individual fences. Bobby was tired. He wasn't forward, and while he never once said no, he wasn't in it. We couldn't find a distance to save our lives and he started his bad habit of drifting to the right again. I had Hubby set out placement poles for us and that seemed to help us out some, but we were still struggling.
Our huge issue of the day was the oxer which rode so well for us the whole time Saturday. Things got worse with the placement pole. We just couldn't figure things out. I finally had Hubby do away with the stupid pole completely, lower the poles to 2', and make the spread 3'. We came around from the other direction and went over it twice without incident (minus landing on the wrong lead). I finished a pretty short ride there with nothing really accomplished.
Hubby had to give me a bit of a pep talk halfway through because I was getting really discouraged about....everything. I feel like we should be farther along than we are now and that we shouldn't be having days like Sunday where I felt like we weren't actually doing anything. Hubby pointed out that you can't have a good day every day. You have to keep working on things and tweaking and fixing the issues as they come up. That's what training is for--training to get better.
He also made me go down memory lane to where we were last year. Red had been eliminated at our very first forrey into eventing during stadium, Bobby had done one horse trial at Starter (2') where he finished sixth after an abysmal walk-trot test and clobbering a xrail during stadium, and Bobby had also finished fourth (and dead last) in Intro B. So far this year? 1st in our very first horse trial of the year, second at his first BN at a very competitive Plantation with a sub-30 dressage score, and a 1st and 3rd at Training level dressage with two (arguably undeserved) 10s. So what if he needs the poles set out for him sometimes? We've still got just under four weeks until our next show. There's a sign up at the church by our house: If the going is easy, you're going downhill.
I hate thinking that I'm going down the path of souring Bobby on working again by putting my own crazies before his best interests. So the game plan for the rest of the week? Tomorrow a dressage school in the indoor followed by a trail ride, Wednesday a conditioning ride in the xcountry field, Thursday another dressage/trail ride, and then he'll have a four day vacation to chill out and regroup while Hubby and I are camping with his family.
At the end of our ride, after I was done hosing off Bobby, rubbing his legs, and moisturizing his hooves, he was still all snuggles. I gave him a few extra cookies and all was forgiven. I can't forget to have fun and enjoy my horse, even during show season!