I Don't Know What to Think...

Did I jinx myself? I was so happy about Rogo's canter the last time I posted - it seemed like a milestone and while I knew it was unlikely to stay that good consistently for awhile, I didn't expect what happened today. 
This is what happened - it was his worst canter work in months. After transitioning consistently and nicely for quite some time now, I had to try repeatedly to get him to canter. When he did, he'd either break to a trot after a few strides, or go too fast. To the left it was racing and unbalanced. Where did my 'getting close to training level', balanced boy go, in a matter of two days? He's disappeared as quickly as he arrived.
If anyone out there has any insights I'd be very happy to hear them. You'll have to read my last post for context. 
Here are a couple of things that are different between Tues., and today. They seem minor to me but maybe they affected things?
  • He got a trim and had his shoes re-set yesterday. Joan said he was winging ever so slightly with a front foot today. Could this have that big an affect? I wouldn't think so but I could have the farrier come back to tweak it if this continues. She's happy to do that.
  • I longed before riding on Tues. (asking him to carry his canter and insisting on good performance), and didn't today. I thought I warmed up well before asking for canter work though. Did the longing on Tues. set him up better for good cantering under saddle? 
  • Was I just a little nervous riding in front of Joan, meaning my riding wasn't as good today as riding on my own, thus not giving Rogo the support he needed?
  • Was Rogo just having a bad day, as a young horse developing balance can have, and I shouldn't worry about it?
  • All of the above?
  • Something else?
As you can see, many questions are going through my head. I hope if anyone reading this has experienced anything similar, or has thoughts on this, they'll share them with me. I know every horse is different and we have to stick to our training plan (I'm solid on that), but it helps to hear what others go through!
His other work today wasn't overly good or bad. I had to work harder than Tues. for a left bend, but did get it. Rode at the walk and trot as a pair with Doug and Savanah and we all had fun with that, horses and riders.
He was taking a fairly good contact today. That was probably his best point re today's work.
Yesterday Doug mailed our entry for Walk Trot C and D at the CNHP gold show in Truro Aug. 7 and 8.This will keep us sharpening our bending and precision. Shows are so good for creating focus and a deadline to achieve goals. Doug isn't going to compete Savanah in Truro. We decided that sometimes we'll both compete and sometimes just one of us will go. At least for now, we need a helper when we both show.


Bree said…
You definitely shouldn't worry about it. Sometimes it's 2 steps forward, 1 step back. It could be something little, a few little things, or nothing. In my interview with Anne Wilson, she says the greatest advice anyone ever gave her was this:

"I think the best collective advice (I have heard it/read it from many classical masters), is not to be disheartened when things go wrong, and not to keep practicing something in the same way if it is not working. Ride a different movement or pace which you know the horse enjoys and come back to the difficulty either later or another day, preferably approaching it in a slightly different way. Often sleeping on something helps; thinking about the problem when doing other things often brings about an idea of how to approach things differently."

And keep doing a body scan on yourself! Release tensions, BREATHE, relax. :-) I've actually worn a heart rate monitor while riding a few times and it's amazing what it tells you about what your body is telling the horse!

Carol said…
You were so right about not worrying about it. Today was much better. Thanks for taking the time to write. I really appreciate the advice and am intrigued by the heart monitor idea. I know I was getting very tense when things weren't working, of course making it worse.
Bree said…
That's great that things were better today. :-) And yeah, I would definitely try the heart rate monitor sometime. If you don't have one you can get one with no frills for under $100. What I did (and this may only work since I used it on Trixie, who is 13.1 lol) is attached it to the top of the bridle facing you, so you don't have to look down and turn your wrist every time you want to check. :-)

SprinklerBandit said…
As a fellow green-horse rider, I concur with the 'don't sweat it too much' advice. There are good days and bad days. Hopefully, with your gelding, you'll avoid the horrible days that my mare occasionally has.

You mentioned on my blog that your boy had a sudden behavior change. Have you tried treating him for ulcers? I went through that with my mare, and she's 100% better than she was before. Just a thought.
Carol said…
Nice to hear from you! I hadn't thought of ulcers. His sudden change was just on the trailer, but maybe if the trailer makes him nervous that's where it hits? I don't know anything about ulcers so will start by looking up some info on the internet.