Third time is a charm, right?
Third ride back and I feel fine. I did have my first encounter with 'omg it's going to kill me' Theo when the arena doors dared to slide against each other and creak as we were trotting past. Fortunately I've ridden that enough times to know reflexively how to stop him. Hold the left rein like it's the only thing keeping you alive and sit back. He stopped straight and stared. Trainer Z was on supervisor duty and decided to latch the doors to stop the noise rather than have us have a set back. And then we marched off and acted like nothing had happened. Kind of glad we got that out of the way. I still know how to get deep in the saddle and how to stop that spin before it can start. Theo stopping straight isn't a problem. That spin? Let's just not do that, papi.
I actually rode him enough to get him breathing hard. It's a good thing, Trainer Z is taking him to a clinic tomorrow and it's his first trip off property in a long time. But she noted my strength, fitness, and confidence appear to be fine now and asked if I'd like to get back into formal lessons rather than supervised free riding. Yay! Next weekend I'm camping but in two weeks, it's back to the grindstone so she can fix my wayward hands and teach me how to correctly ride my Third Level pony that she has all tuned up. I couldn't get a clean canter-walk today so I know it's time to get back to formal training for me as well as Theo.
I did some sitting trot to check that out and it wasn't bad. Just a couple minutes and I can tell that it's something that's going to require careful management but we can at least work on it. Theo's trot is appalling to sit but I only need to do it for three minutes or so at a time to get through a Third Level test.
Am I thinking about that Bronze again? You betcha. And why not? I may be embarrassed to have my trainer get on my horse first at the show but that shouldn't stop me from finishing what we started.
Once Theo's going Third in the show ring with Trainer Z, I want to take a shot at those last two scores. Last year I couldn't ride more than thirty minutes without suffering the next day and couldn't really sit the canter. Now I'm riding 45 minutes with real work and doing fine with nothing more than some Advil that night. Who knows what I'll be able to do in 2023? And he's very polite about his changes now that he understands the request. They're about 75% confirmed right now, per Trainer Z. Once I'm back in formal lessons, I can learn how to ask for them correctly. I don't need to win, I just need two 60's.
Yes, I'm starting to hope again. We may not be done just yet.