I haven't been brave enough, or committed enough, to share this, but maybe if I write it and hit publish, I'll be more committed. So here it is ... I really want to take Sydney to the final Tehachapi show at the end of September.
We're not ready to be competitive, and it would only be Intro A & B, but I want to see where we are. Is he going to be relaxed at the show grounds, or will all of the old tension come back? Am I going to be relaxed, or will I grab hold and freak him out? If I can't even take him over to JL's with confidence, I certainly can't take him an hour away.
So when I got to the barn on Saturday morning and saw that JL's place was Grand Central, I decided that Sydney needed a mini-field trip rather than ho-hum it around my own arena. I saddle quickly and walked over like I would for a lesson. The barn was buzzing with activity, but Sydney remained relaxed and never batted an eye. Just to be safe, I started him on the lunge line before hopping on. There were no shenanigans, and he was very relaxed.
I rode and made sure to chat with everyone the whole time. Horses came in and out of the wash rack, in and out of the arena, and cars drove by. JL brought her young horse out to work, and Sydney barely flicked an ear at him as they cantered around. Yippee!
He was a perfect angel the entire time we were there. I know he's been there many times before, but it has been a place of tension for him for most of those visits. To see him, and me, be so relaxed gave me some confidence.
The last Tehachapi show is in 6 weeks. I think we can be ready to at least show up and ride the tests. My only goal is that he be relaxed and enjoy himself. I think we need a few more field trips, and one of them should include a trailer ride, but we're on the right path!