Lucky had a big day last Monday, Memorial Day. He was driven PAST Delaware Park, much to his relief, to Carousel Park, and went to go in the water and stream, watch the kids play in the pool, jump off the diving board, swing on the swingset, and all the doggies pulling people around on strings and leashes. He was with a group of others who were also listening to a new lady talk to Mom, who was riding with a whip and spurs, darn her. The day got hot and he sweated, but it really did not seem like a lot of work. He looked at lots of jumps in two or three fields, and actually jumped over a lot of little jumps with some of the new friends. The lady without a horse was very nice and complimentary and thought Lucky was worth messing with. He did not want to jump the jumps on the first try but rather felt it was better to jump them the second time, and he also thought it was better to jump from a small canter than from the trot. All in all a good day and Lucky is better for it. Now the next problem is to keep him going and jumping someplace different each weekend. I’m looking at schooling in the coming weeks at Fair Hill, perhaps at Plantation but work is probably going to interfere with that, perhaps a schooling show hither and yon, anything to get him out and jumping.
Lucky’s clinic on May 16 was detailed with video (thanks to Julia Jesu) and is posted at Horse Junkies United. His dressage show on May 11 was pretty good but he got fussy after the first test. Warmup was a bit unorganized and we actually rode in an arena we could not go around, and when we trotted in, and turned, the judge gave us the bell! We didn’t get a chance to even get straight for center line; then the stable worker took five or six horses out of a paddock right NEXT to the ring DURING our test and lead them on a gravel driveway, clop clop, past the end of the ring to the barn. Other riders in our class had no such distraction. It was just sort of weird. They had a lovely grass dressage arena on level ground down in a field, with ample warmup but weren’t using it for the show — I did try the indoor but it’s so dusty and nasty in there I was in there about 10 minutes and had to leave. Schooling shows are great experiences but it they aren’t safe they aren’t fun. Lucky immediately broke his trailer tie ring the instant I took off my boots and was shoeless, and trotted off to the other side of the farm to get caught eventually when he went in the indoor ring to find the field horses. He’s nothing if not smart, he’s always aware of where the horses are when he goes someplace. There was a photographer and I was able to see some nice photos a couple of weeks after the show, the trot views were very nice but the canters seemed flat and rather short in stride, but the views were all of three feet on the ground so it was hard to see if there was any “loft” or spring there. Lucky has a nice canter that is wonderful to sit and ride. Overall, I felt it was a good experience, but I wasn’t real thrilled with the location and probably won’t go back there because of the unwieldy warmup situation. It is always nice to be able to trot all the way around the ring past the judge’s booth with a green horse, because it sets the tone that they are performing in the ring, and that the distractions are outside of it — it’s just a pet peeve of mine that we present new things logically to green horses so they understand what we are wanting, and in the case of dressage performances, how they think about a dressage arena and what it is for, and this affects their thoughts the rest of their performance lifetime. I feel strongly that even schooling shows should have proper arenas and judge’s booths with room for the horse to go around and warmups on the same footing. We just mess with their heads otherwise.