I. Am. An. Idiot.
In addition to my proven inability to memorize a pattern at a show, I have now discovered I can't even READ a pattern.
Today I was stalking my competition for the Fuzzy Fun on Film show on Youtube.... there is another adult with a nice little paint who won the high point the first show and then was 2nd overall on the 2nd show. I watched her entry for the Jackpot class, you know, the one with the complicated pattern? Her walk and jog were lovely, the circle was big and round and smooth, and then she broke to a walk before doing the 360.... uh... uh oh.... there was a walk in there before the 360? Expletives. I looked and it's right there on the pattern. RIGHT THERE. IN ENGLISH. Expletives.
I didn't even want to submit my entries after I filmed them! When I got home and watched the videos I saw a TON of things I could have fixed, but I didn't have another day that I could film. The tricky thing is you NEED another person to man the camera, or at least to do the inspection walk-around. Entries weren't due until the 31st, but I was leaving town for a conference the 27th-1st so I had to submit early or not at all. And now I'm kicking myself for entering them. There's no way I'll place in the Jackpot. The regular adult class wasn't great either. He stepped on my foot, and that was the best of the 3 takes. I am embarrassed.
Okay, enough of the Whiny McWhinerton. I AM pleased with the progress we were able to make while I was benched from riding. I think our pivots have REALLY improved with the help of a dressage whip during training sessions. I use it as an aid to straighten his body by giving him a tap on the shoulder when he gets crooked. I used to just use the lead rope or my hand, but with the whip I can keep my body and hand positions correct. Backing is getting better, but he needs to get stronger in his hind end to do it faster and straighter. He still requires convincing. The whip is helpful for that but he resists when I don't use it. The back-around the cone of the Jackpot was dreadful. I don't really know the "proper" way to do that. It's on my list for my lesson later this month.
Even if I miraculously acquire the ability to read and learn a pattern properly, we still need to work on a lot. But, with only a handful of lessons I've done the vast majority of his training by myself and I'm pleased with how far we've come. And yet there's so much further to go.
In other news, I was able to ride this morning and groom my poor neglected pony. He was very good, but he needs a chiropractor. He felt better the longer I rode and his canter was surprisingly smooth and even. He felt very light and it's been a while since he's felt that way. So I know he's not too messed up, but I'd still like to get him adjusted asap. I haven't heard back from my favorite chiro yet, and I'm starting to consider calling the other guy. He does fine work, but I prefer the one who spends a whole hour with the horse working on massage, pressure points, AND adjustments for only $10 more.
Here are my entries (patterns are HERE) if you want to watch me fail: