In August, I got my 4 year old mare named Sunny. Since then, I have worked with my trainer to produce an almost completely different horse. She now knows the basics of dressage such as bending, rhythm, suppleness, and we are now working on straightness. I really like working with Sunny because she trys hard and is a fast learner.
So until about December, everything was going great. We had some few minor bumps along the road, but she was progressing and was very consistant in her work. No, it wasn't the best frame, and there was a lot to be fixed, but it was consistant and so much better than where she started.
We started being more detail oriented, which in turn asked more of her. She was happy to comply with the easier things- engage inside hind, push evenly with both hind legs all the time, rock back in the canter and don't launch- all of these were fairly easy to fix.
Now it's about February and I'm bored with consistantly mediocre. I start being even more picky and now I wan't straightness. I want the shoulder to come around the turn instead of falling out of the circle- and this is where we hit a road block. The darn shoulder will NOT stay where I want it. She will bend her neck, she will bend her ribcage- either direction- but she will not connect the outside shoulder.
I figured, well I have something to work on now, so work on it we did. Over and over and over again and nothing was changing. My trainer suggested lateral work to focus on it, so we started shoulder-in and leg yields. I had 2 good days of lateral work before she decided she wanted nothing to do with it.
This is what is making me frustrated. Now there is no consistancy like before. For example, on Friday she didn't want to bend right, but Saturday she was doing everything I asked and more. On Sunday (today) she started out ok, and after asking her to make it better, it got worse. So much worse. To the point where I would put a leg on to bend and we would be shooting around the arena like we were in October. She would do something, I would try to fix it, and she would fall apart even more. I just gave up and got off after an hour because I was exhausted, she was just getting worse and nothing good was going to come if we kept working.
It's so frustrating because we were doing so well and now we are back at square one. It's hard to pin point when it exactly happened, but the lateral work seemed to really throw her over the edge. I know me being frustrated will not help the situation, so I'm going to ask my mom if I can put her in training with my trainer so someone else can deal with it. I'm mad at myself for being frustrated, and I'm mad at her for acting like she doesn't know anything. The most frustrating part is that no one else seems to notice. My mom still says "that looks pretty" and my trainer says "getting better each week", but it doesn't feel like that.
Ugh... sorry for the book, but I'm just at the end of my rope.