|2012 show season, courtesy Stephen Crowers Photography|
I am thinking about the 2014 show season.
We have all the pieces to do First Level, reliably doing the individual pieces and long stretches of consistent work with all of the elements, if not the actual test. We're doing little mini-shoulder-ins, ten meter circles, and canter work that is more reliably balanced -- even in the dreaded transitions. I bought a new stock tie in February (more on that later), so I've go an eye toward the show season. But... Here is the show-stopper, literally.
I've been riding him indoors since I fell off back in June 2013. The thought of riding him outside is scary. He's a good boy, but because of his feet he is not getting regular turnout, and over the years he has shown he's capable of that 1% unpredictable behavior. At every show I've taken him to, he has bucked in the warmup -- not ugly, pretty rideable. It didn't worry me then, but now I know what the ground feels like, and I know that if I fall off, getting up right away is not a given.
I quake a little at the thought of taking him outside on our home property! And away from home? Ugh.
My game plan is to take it in steps -- go outside, go to Bucks County just for a quick ride, and then off the property for a real show.