Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I've been holding out fairly desperately for the day I moved into my dorm and got internet again, but of course here I am now sitting in my new dorm with a computer that I still can't get online and no hope of getting the problem resolved over the next few days. Boo. I've been in desperate need of an update, though, as quite a bit has happened since I last posted, so here is the crappier iPhone-produced and pictureless version of what I was hoping originally to write.
I've been feeling really burnt out lately. The anxiety of the move, plus being a little homesick, plus the always brewing drama of the Red Barn, plus all the stupid worries I have for the coming school year and coming back after having been away from Stanford for so long, have all left me completely exhausted both physically and emotionally. So, take any of the following histrionics with a grain of salt, as I most certainly have not been in the most resilient mood over the past ten days.
I took Kiki to the Woodside dressage show yesterday to do some first level tests in preparation for Twin next week. I have to say, I've been really pleased with how she's been feeling lately. I've been able to do more sitting work with her, and get her into a rideable place. The sitting, especially, has helped overcome the snag I'd hit where every time I would come back to trot after cantering she would literally grab the bit and by across the arena, because I could control her with my seat and not have to pull as much with my hands. Her canter was miles better than the throwing herself against the walls that she'd done I our first lessons with Kim, and there are brief moments where I can actually get her to unlock more through her back than she ever has before in the dressage ring.
So when I brought her to the show and she actually kept her head on straight during the warmup and as we entered the ring, I was pretty hopeful. We made some mistakes and she got tense a few times, but it felt miles ahead of where we'd been at GMHA in July. During the second test, especially, I really felt like we might actually start being competitive.
Well, we weren't. Our first test scored the lowest we've ever gotten on wny dressage test ever (except for that memorable 51% I got at Stuart last year... But I try not to think about that, haha). When I got the tests back the comments were so mean on both, even the second one where I had scored better, that I burst into tears and couldn't stop crying. Both tests slammed me for my riding and said that I was holding Kiki back and limiting her potential with my restricting aids. I got my first '5' on rider in as long as I can remember. Rachel tried really hard to cheer me up but I was already in full on melt down mode so there wasn't much to be done.
I just feel like I can't do right with this horse. When I ride her forward, she races on the forehand and is completely unbalanced and out of control. When I ride her more conservatively, I'm restricting her potential and she gets tight in the back. I make her fussy. I make her tense. I can't sit her trot. I can't control her trot from the post. I can't get her unstuck in the canter. The list feels like it goes on and on and on. It makes me incredibly frustrated. I feel like I have the same horse I did when I started riding her as a five year old. All the work and training I've put into her has come to nothing.
So, it's back to the drawing board again, for what feels like the thousandth time. Maybe someday I will stop sucking enough to actually ride this horse properly and get rewarded for it. Maybe.