I've been really happy with the work we've done the last two weeks. It's not like his inside bend is automatic, but I've had some wonderful rides on him where I could finally feel the stiffness and address it.
We've also been working hard on improving our canter departures. We're decent to the left, but much like with Sydney, he's reluctant to the right. I am learning that I need a lot more outside rein with him as well to keep his butt lined up with his shoulders.
I wrote about Aberdeen the other day, the woman relocating here from Scotland. She's actually going to the show with me. I told her it's like winning the lottery to have someone to hold my jacket, dust off my boots, and take photos.
It's a also a bit stressful to bring someone along as I always feel a sense of needing to keep that person happy and entertained. The truth is, I've been doing this by myself now for so long that having someone along makes me feel a bit crowded and gets me off my rhythm. Instead of letting it stress me out, I've decided to not feel bad about using her as a gopher. She's a big girl; she doesn't need me to entertain her.
In fact, I know she'll enjoy hanging out at an American dressage show. She can watch other riders go, meet people, or just enjoy a snack in the shade. I might even find that my boot polisher has gone AWOL!
I ride Training Level Test 2 at 1:11 and Test 3 at 1:32 which is much later than I usually ride at this show. I'll actually have time to give Speedy a bath this morning instead of having had to do it yesterday afternoon.
Wish us luck!