Anywhoo. Rode just a little on Tuesday. KAT rode him that day and then he had a lesson with one of the barn girls who said she liked him. I just rode for 2o minutes or so. He didn't want to slow down at the lope to real WP but he had just had an English lesson so if I got to canter at my own speed for an hour's lesson I would probably not feel like loping either. I worked at him until he slowed down when I asked him to, let him lope a lap on a loose rein to remind him it's easier to just listen and do it. Then I just jogged and walked, working on my horsemanship position. I think that EXTREME lean-back is ricockulous, but I've seen from my show photos that I am still leaning forward too much, so we've been working on that. It is sad that the bigger named trainers have the fugliest equitation and their horses look quite unnatural. Sometimes I feel like I have to defend myself because I like riding Western Pleasure, because I can see the yuck that happens at big shows. I remember watching an English Pleasure class at the MN State Fair one year and there was a lovely Paint in the ring who moved like a hunter and passed every horse in the ring. She was a relaxed looking natural frame. She didn't place. I nearly passed out. That was the first time I really noticed that it wasn't just MY hunter-type arabs being ignored by the judges in favor of the framed-up QH's that didn't even EXTEND a trot when it was called OR HAND GALLOP when it was called. I've got that class on video. For shame. I will NOT have a 4-beat lope, and I will NOT ride a bloodhound. But I WILL ask him to round up his back, relax his topline and keep his hocks underneath him and his weight balanced so we can roll back at any moment. Slow is good, but smooth is better.
Last night I polished boots, ironed my show shirt, and started packing for the show. It's a one day so I don't have the luxury of coming home again the night before the actual show to grab whatever it is I forgot the day before. Of all the "stuff" I've bought to go with my little show hobby, I think my best investment (aside from training/lessons, of course) is my tack bags. I bought them at tackwholesale.com and though I wouldn't buy much else from them, I LOVE my bags. I got the English Set, the Western Saddle carrier, and one of those hanging bags with the tack hooks inside them. They all match and I can easily tell which ones are mine in the tack room at a show and they fit all of my stuff, except for my Western hat which I will have a plastic case for next year, right now it's in a huge cardboard hat box the nice hat-shaper at Rods gave me when he turned my Arab roll into a QH crease...bless him.
I have a private lesson today with KAT, then ride and bathe and pack the trailer on Friday and Saturday. I also need to finish my lectures for Monday and Tuesday since I will be exhausted on Sunday after the show and will be in no condition to create power points. Ugh.