July EquiMind

As you may have seen from our post a few weeks ago about not being able to make Scottie do something he doesn’t want to do, our filming for this month’s EquiMind entry didn’t go exactly to plan!

After last month’s disappointing test Scottie had his back done and was going amazingly in the school and I was really looking forward to smashing it this time around. Unfortunately Scottie had other ideas. He tried wandering off while I was putting his bridle on and just wanted to go and look at everything and once we were in the school he proceeded to spook at the banners which have been hanging up for weeks and just generally be a bit of a nob.

He didn’t want to work in an outline, he didn’t want to bend left or right, but when I wanted a straight line we reverted to being a banana. He chomped the bit and was just as needlessly difficult as he could possibly be.

Since he was being a nightmare, I decided just to focus on pushing forwards in the hope that wrapping my legs around him and tunnelling him around the arena would help him to focus and work properly. It almost worked, we were much more forward than usual and showed impulsion, however, he wasn’t really a huge amount more accepting of my aids.

As my patience was wearing, I decided to just go for it and see what happened and it felt awful. He fought me the whole way round, after ignoring my canter aids, leapt into canter after a tap on the bum, just to trip out of canter early in the next corner and speed round the corner like a motorbike.  However, in the very last few movements in the test he started to feel a bit better. So after a terrible final centre line I decided that he might now be in the right mind frame to try again.

So after a walk and trot round almost in an outline I decided to go again. This test was better than the first, although he still fought me most of the way round. He picked up the wrong canter lead and due to him powering off with massive strides I was unable to correct it until we reached the other end of the school and he still managed to fall out of canter a few meters early. But the rest of the test was a bit more controlled and despite a wonky finish to our centre line, we did manage to stop square.

The second test still felt awful and I am still really frustrated writing this a day later (hopefully I have relaxed by the time the results come in!) But the second test looked a lot better than the first, despite not feeling a huge amount better. I don’t really know what the issue was as Scottie was just being a complete pleb for no real reason. He has been going so well recently and it’s so annoying that he chose filming day to behave like that.

Hopefully the footage is okay as on watching it back I noticed it is very zoomed in. So much so that you can’t always see much when we are up at the C end of the school. But I can’t help but think how I feel about the tests, that can’t really be a bad thing!

Our initial score was a bit disappointing, 56.2%. However, we did come 4th and when I received our score sheet it was much more positive! The first 10 moves of our test were 6s and 6.5s with fair comments. Then we struck off in canter wrong and it all went down hill. We scored a 3 for that movement with the rest of the test scoring 4.5-5.5s, finishing with a 6 for our halt. We judge was fairly sympathetic in their comments saying that Scottie was now tense and unsettled.

The judge’s final comments were positive saying Scottie is a “very nice horse with potential” but that it fell apart in the second half! Which is very true!

Our collectives were:

Rhythm: 6 (12)
Suppleness: 5.5 (11)
Contact: 5.5 (11)
Rider’s Position: 6 (12)
Rider’s effectiveness: 5.5 (11)

I was hoping to finish this post with hopes of improving this month, but with Scottie’s injury I am unsure as to when we will be back at it. I am hoping to enter an in hand horsemanship class with Scottie this month with our sponsored rider entry just to give us something to do and maybe we will be up for an intro the month after!

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