Spooking at a plastic sign but it made for a pretty picture
Friday was a quick lesson with Trainer Z. Theo was feeling freaking fantastic after a chiropractic and some really good rides with Trainer D while my back was out. He was very happy to work in the cooler temps and flicked his toes along quite happily.
Friday warm ups
Saturday was a bit tougher with a crowded warm up. The sun came out, the temps spiked, and Theo melted a bit. His 62.6% still got us a pretty yellow ribbon, but I knew we had some easy points to make up. Like me remembering to ride the correct line. Theo got a 7 for gaits, I got a 5 for accuracy. Sigh.
My new unicorn stock tie
Sunday was Theo's third day in prison and it was starting to take it's toll. He's much calmer in a stall at night now but being in all day makes him quite cranky. Morning sessions of lunging do make a big difference in his rage levels and help him settle. It was all working but he was showing much later than the rest of the group on Sunday. They had to take off due to an emergency back home. Theo watched the horses on either side of him load and leave. He started biting his door and kicking. Aw, crap. I rearranged my timeline to include an extra lunge before his test.
HAHAHAHA omg I am so glad I did that. Twenty minutes of snorting, bucking, tail flagging, bolting nonsense. I took him straight from lunging to the warm up and spent another twenty minutes talking him into releasing his back and bending for me. A walk to catch his breath, a couple minutes of collected work, and in we went.
It was tight over the back but we got a 61.4% with no bucking or explosions. The judge really wasn't buying our mediums (and we had a weird break to canter in the 10m half circle) but the rest of the test was respectable. I'll take it considering how much progress that is for managing Naughty Theo. No spooking, no bolting, no nonsense. Just not quite giving me his back.
The culmination of many years of work
Multi-day shows are still not his forte and I will focus on one days in 2020, but at least we made it through this one with no drama. I hustled him home, tucked him in bed, and gave him a big kiss on the nose. It was a fantastic finale to our first season at Second.