It's hard to believe, but Ky and my first real bonafide horse show together is now only a week away! It felt like winter would never end, but it seems like we finally made it out safe and sound :)
I've been so, so pleased with how Ky has been doing recently. His flatwork has been improving by leaps and bounds and, while my expectations are still pretty guarded about our ability to perform in a possibly spooky and tense show atmosphere, I'm feeling really positive that we won't embarrass ourselves in the dressage next Sunday.
My dad was super nice and came out to take some videos of us last weekend. Check out the progress from earlier this winter! I know we've definitely still got a long ways to go, and I'd still not call him anywhere near confirmed in the contact, but man, he's so much more pleasant to ride now. The nicest change is his general attitude towards work; he used to feel so resentful and behind my leg, and now he bounds along beautifully. Good boy! Here he is starting out to the right:
And then trotting to the left (our more difficult direction) and then cantering a bit to the right:
And then finally cantering a bit to the left (again, our more difficult direction):
What a good little dude :) Then to make matters more exciting, this past Wednesday we went on our very first cross country school!! Eeeee!! We went up to UNH and met with Jane Hamlin and had an amaaaaaazing school; we did a lot of Novice questions and Ky handled them beautifully. We even ended by dropping into the water a few times, which isn't something I think he's done a lot of in the past few years. Super star!! I unfortunately have no evidence of his awesomeness, but here's a picture of Ky looking studly and proud of himself afterwards:
Man, I love this little horse. He's given me so much confidence back over the past few months. Even at the beginning of the school I was thinking that some of the Beginner Novice questions were looking pretty scary, and by the end I was eyeing some of the Training questions and thinking that they weren't out of our league. I'm still pretty nervous about the stadium (not my speciality), but I'm definitely getting excited for getting back out on a real competition cross country course for the first time in a year and a half next week!!!