Rainy is now 5, and I'm 15. For my birthday, I got a brand spankin' new white show saddle pad [very soft & fluffy, I'm in love with it!] and a new halter/leadrope for shows. The halter is teal, light blue, hot pink, and brown, a weird combination that works quite nicely, actually. The leadrope is brown to match the halter.
I've been working on getting Rainy to move off my legs, and it's going pretty well. She's much more responsive from her right side, so we're working on getting the left side just as responsive, but that just started, so not much improvement there. We switched her to a D-ring snaffle bit with a copper mouthpiece for dressage, but I've been riding in it every time I go out. Rainy enjoys having the copper mouth, but doesn't enjoy moving into contact with it or setting her head. Unfortunately, my instructor is not currently giving our group lessons [her sister, who teaches the non-show team lessons, is instead], so I don't have the normal help I would when working with a new bit. Hm. What else?
Oh yes. Cantering. Her transitions to canter are still super sloppy and need a lot more work, but with how awkward Rainy is at a canter, I'm not super comfortable doing loads of canter work- I've actually decided to hold off on cantering until after the August 21st show. Her right lead is improving slightly, [she's picking it up more like 20/80 now then 10/90 like before] but still needs a lot more work. Left lead she has no problem with, and I'm actually surprised at how nice it can be at times. As a whole, though, cantering still needs massive amounts of work before we can show in canter classes. Though kind of disappointing, I'd rather work extra hard, and a little bit longer to get a very nice canter than rush us into a class we're not prepared for.
Some goals of mine.
1. Work hard in the snaffle bit, and hopefully be able to ride my huntseat classes in it at the August show. [If this doesn't go as planned, then I definitely expect to be showing in it the 2010 show season]
2. Start to gain control of Rainy's canter striding [by 2011].
3. Have firm control of Rainy's striding by the middle of the 2011 show season.
4. Compete in canter classes and Training level dressage by the end of the 2011 show season.
5. If all this goes according to plan, begin private jumping lessons in the fall/winter of 2011.
6. If 1-5 go according to plan, and Rainy and I are prepared, compete in a 1'6 ft. Two fence jumping class at the 3rd or 4th show of the 2012 show season.
For everyone who knows Rainy & I in real life, let me know if you think these are reasonable, or if you think I'm barking mad. :) Everyone else can comment too, but I think those who really know me will have the best judgement.