Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Southeast PA, USA
Training out the cross canter
So, I had my first true dressage test on my little ex-western Quarter Horse yesterday. All in all it went very well, as he has never been trailered off the property for a show before, and, as far as I know, he has never seen an indoor arena. I'm very, very proud of him. Even though he was very tense and was never able to truly relax and come soft into my hands like he does at home, he tried very hard. However, I did feel like we regressed a little bit in our training.
When I first started riding and training him he had a HUGE problem with cross cantering and picking up wrong leads. We worked through this a long time ago and haven't had this particular problem in probably close to five months... Until yesterday. He started cross cantering in his warm up, and also did it once in our test, as well as picking up the complete wrong lead for the second canter in our test.
Now, my question is, since we don't have this problem at home anymore, and thus I can't do much training with it at home, how do I conquer it at shows? Is this something that will just take experience and mileage to get him calm and relaxed when we're not at home, or is there something in particular I can do at our next show to avoid it other than just trotting, fixing it, and asking again for the complete correct lead every time it happens until it stops. He does not do flying changes, and it's not something I plan on working on for quite some time as we still have foundations to work on and he tends to loose his brain when you do too much too quickly. So fixing it in the canter is out of the question for now.
Thanks for your help!
"The art of riding is keeping a *horse* between you and the ground."