We went to an unaffiliated dressage competition on New Years Day for a little outing at a venue new to both of us. Skye went into the warm up arena doing a very good impression of a fire eating dragon that meant everyone gave us a wide berth at first. I insisted that he steadied his walk, incorporated lateral work and he then settled into the work. With the familiar slow systematic movements that we use at the start of all our schooling sessions, he could focus on me and start to relax. In the first elementary test I felt a bit ring rusty and our accuracy was not 100% but a much improved medium test followed which I was very pleased about. A red and blue rosette and a box of chocolates for the drive home was a good way to start the New Year!!
I am gradually learning ( I hope) how to manage his stress head moments when he wants to rush off and march along as fast as he can which just winds himself up.... encouraging him to slow right down and make every step deliberate - he then starts to feel happier in his own skin.... (Remind me how have I landed with another adrenalin junkie aka Brodie??)
This is definitely work in progress with this little chap!! ... bring on 2020!!