First the video!!! Watch and it see what you think! and then answer my countless questions at the end! hahahaha!!!!
Well not quite sure how I feel about today!!
we were weak in all the areas I already knew, but I feel I achieved my goal, which was to get out there again, get our confidence back and to get a 'benchmark' of where we are.
Antsje was fairly attentive today, and although I could tell at times she was desparate to go into full friesian alert ie, head up, ear up my nose and pogo stick trot, she did really try hard to listen but the upshot was she wasnt quite relaxed enough, and I felt she could have been a little more forwards into the bridle than she was. Canter was interesting!! Not too bad onthe left! but picked up incorrect lead on the right :-( But on the whole I didnt think it was awful.
I was dissapointed with our score though - 56.67% We had a lot of 6's and 7's and one 8! but 3's for right canter which took the score down. I was also a bit dissapointed by the free walk mark but id like people to have a look at the video and out of interest see what your score would have been? Maybe Im not seeing things correctly??
The main comment was Antsje acceptance of the bit - we had not happy in the mouth and fussy in the mouth a few times :-(
1. Antsje has ALWAYS been very mouthy! doesnt matter what bit, or what kind of contact, she will fuss even on a loose rein. She was like this when I bought her and Ive never really been able to solve it fully. Some of it is how she shows anxiety, some of it is because she runs into my hands, some of it is because my hands / seat connection is not yet fully independant particularly when antsje is being resistant. So! what do I do? Put her back in the flash? Live with it? I dont know how I feel - obviously the flash has done no long term improvement as she is just as bad now as she was before.
2. The canter - I am loosing faith of my ability to crack the canter esp the right lead. Im never quite sure if she is coming up correctly and cant seem to influence this at all! Should I just give in and send her away for training? though god knows how I can afford this! but I do worry about who to send her too!! Is there ANY improvement there? PLEASE be honest ;-)
3. Another contact question, but more the working forwards into the hand - im sure the issues of Q no 1 has a bearing on this problem, but Im worried im loosing my way!! I have a seesaw problem - Antsje WILL stretch into a longer frame and work more forward into the bridle but in my opinion she easily becomes on the forehand and looses the engagement of the HQ's and it shows in downwards trans as she collapses into them as she is not properly engaged behind. When I collect her up a little, then we have beeter engagement, better upward and esp downward trans, but she is always prob about an inch shorter through the neck than I would like.
So, should I continue to work on the engagement and hope the forward into the bridle will come, or should I let her lengthen her frame and loose the HQ's? This is primarily test riding im talking about as I do work both ways when schooling - contained to start, and stretching to finish. I realise it might have helped her stretch forwards if I rose all the time - BUT - I do find it easier to contain her by using my seat in sitting trot - she may not look it, but she is very onward bound, and once she gets 'tramming' then you are DOOMED to forward and straight and handbrake turns lol!!
4. Free walk - what was so wrong about it? yes, I do realise she could be a bit more consistant, but was it sooo bad??
So - am I loosing my way? I am missing some instruction and I havent had a lesson now for 6 months!! Plus we have only been back to it in earnest for the last few weeks as we only moved to this yard mid May. We really wernt as ready as we could have been, but its easy to get stuck in 'never readiness' or at least it is for me!! Fraught perfectionist and all that hahahaha!!!
I do often wonder if ive bitten off more than I can chew with Antsje - or at least with the available recources I have to spare namely time and money. I KNOW part of my personality keeps battling with things long after I should have let it go - more then a couple of times to my detriment!! So I do worry that this is a similar situation. I know I shouldnt compare, but I look at people and see them improve and progress and I am genuinely thrilled for them - but I also feel frustrated that my own progress seems so goddam slow!! Patience is not a strongpoint of mine lol!! So, bearing in mind my limited rescources - am I fighting a loosing battle here? Am I improving at all????? Is Antsje Improving???? Or am I just fumbling about in the dark going round in ever decreasing circles? ****sigh****
Dont panic people - Im not in a real 'down;' about it! A little dissapointed yes! but Im more philosophical than fed up, just musings of my mind!! Lucky for me, I am blessed with the personality of a weeble!! I might have a wobble, but never fall down completely lol!!! So please - honest opinions would be very much appreciated ;-)
I look forwards to your comments :-)