So, the dressage schooling show Jet and I were supposed to do last Saturday was cancelled. There was a massive day of rain on Friday and basically the venue was too flooded for a show. A bit disappointing, especially as I wanted to get another trip off the farm under our belts and make sure the first show wasn't a fluke. Also, I have been focusing on ride-ability in all sorts of stressful situation to the detriment of moving to harder things gymnastically, so in some ways I feel like I have been wasting good weather to work on showing Intro, when I really want to be working on lengthening, counter-canter, and etc.. Granted, this is a good problem to have, I just feel like I am on two training tracks that don't always converge.
Don't get me wrong, Jet needs to show Intro until he relaxes a bit more at shows, but the time spent working on that limits the time we can work on the things that really interest me and will polish up our First Level tests. You know, things that are not throwing my kid in a chair in the bed of a truck, hanging flapping stuff all around the dressage court, setting up a mock judges stand, and making Jet deal and do his test in a reasonable manner. When he has done this well, the last thing I want to do is challenge him gymnastically and work on his harder stuff. Not much of a reward when he is good for the spook training.
That said, since there is no immediate show on the horizon, this week I have had a couple of rides just focused on gymnastic development and it has been eye opening. I've let a couple things like 100% energy response and a truly swinging back in the harder work slide, in the name of having a calm cooperative horse in the made to be very spooky ring. I know what I need to work on to improve the First Level work, things like the energy response and more swinging First Level figures(and a lot of them!) but if I take the time to do that I won't be putting in the "spook" training that Jet needs right now to be successful going off my farm to show. What to do and which is more important to me right now? Entries for the next show on July 15 are due Friday, so we shall see!