1. I am back to struggling with my gray pony, but at least I am not taking it personally. He is being a real stinker about the canter. He is literally hurtling his body into the gait with no effort at relaxing. When I rode on Tuesday, I just kept asking in a nice way while staying calm and relaxed myself. After what seemed like forever, he finally rolled into the canter. We made one circle, and I brought him to a halt. I praised him like there was no tomorrow. Getting frustrated with him isn't going to help anything.
2. I am worrying about this weekend's show. Of course. I am worrying about the parking; I am worrying about the stabling arrangements; but my greatest fear is that we "peaked" at the last show. I just don't see how we can equal that performance. Ridiculously, the main reason that I am so worried about it is because a handful of local riders will be there, and I don't want to be the bumbling country cousin that everyone rolls their eyes at. Oh, right, her again.
I know, I know; it's stupid. I give my students a million ways to combat those self-destructive thoughts: Success Starts with Believing in Yourself; For Success, Attitude is as Important as Ability; and my favorite, The Three D's to Succeed: Desire, Discipline, Dedication. I am up to my chin in those three things.
3. I got some good work out of Sydney on Tuesday. We mainly worked to the right. I could feel my brain firing like crazy with all of the info I learned on Monday. The first thing I did was to really make sure he was working from that outside rein. Once he felt balanced, I started asking him to soften off the inside rein. And then, all of a sudden I could feel when I needed to use my inside leg. I asked for a right lead canter and actually got it the first time. It wasn't a spectacular transition, but getting it right away felt like a victory. I called it a day.
4. My mom is coming to the show. She drove down from Cave Junction, Oregon just to camp out with me for three days at the show. It's a 650 mile trip so I feel some added pressure to do well and make sure that she has fun. I know she'll be wearing her rose colored glasses and will only see an Olympic rider on Speedy G, but still ... I'll know it's just me.
Even though I am anxious about it, I am still looking forward to having my mom walking with me from the warm-up and waiting patiently (or not so patiently) ring side as we do our tests. Oh, and to have a boot polisher will be divine!
5. I work really hard to improve (Success: Don't Just Wish for it, Work for it!). I do a lot with a little: I travel alone (no groom/trainer), I ride non-traditional breeds (Arabian & OTTB), I don't have a dressage trainer (h/j trainer instead), and yet, we still mange to get the job. Win or lose, I'm in it for the education and experience (Education is Not Received, It's Achieved!).