So I suppose I need to explain how I came to the decision to slow things down... Saturday there was an open show at West 20, a local tack shop/boarding facility. I decided it was high time to get Oakley out to a show, so we went. She was AMAZING for the morning classes. We entered 2 halter classes and a showmanship class. Nothing was bothering her, people, clapping, announcers, she took it all in stride. After that I saddled her up to get ready for a few riding classes. We were the only ones in the outdoor warm up arena and she did good for about 15 minutes at the walk and a little bit of trot. I could tell she was tense but that was the first time she'd been in a large outdoor arena, so I didn't think much of it. Well, long story short, I got bucked off. It was a soft landing, and I got back on and worked the kinks out, but the bucking kind of came out of nowhere. We were just walking... I rode it out for a while, but she got the best of me, again. I don't want anyone to think that she is a bad horse, or that she has huge holes in her training, she doesn't. She is just a reactive horse who anticipates what will happen next. She learns routines and training sequences quickly and then wants to rush through them. So I am once again taking a step back. Going back to the basics and spelling things out for her. I am frustrated with myself for several reasons that I won't go into here, but I want to do my best for Oakley and I don't always have the answers I need. I am lucky to be surrounded by really supportive trainers like Jessica Davis, TJ Clibborn, and Tracy Porter. They have all given me encouragement and great training advice and I can't thank them enough. I have scheduled a chiro appointment for her on Thursday. Maybe I'll get some clues then.
Anyway, I'll leave you with a good moment from Sunday. I took Oakley out on her first trail ride. My friend was on Remington and snapped this photo with her phone.