Trust and Allow
Sometimes life throws challenges your way that are tough to deal with in the moment, but in time and with hindsight you begin to see the positives.
After my last update, I headed to Somerford BE100+, in preparation for my first novice of the year. The dressage went well and I'm continuing to progress with my approach of doing less with my hands and more with my seat. Corey was really relaxed for his walk and trot but the canter got a bit tense, so given my trainer's view that this might be due to feeling restricted within the arena, a set of white boards is now out in the field. The show jumping warm up went brilliantly, as did the first 7 fences. I then panicked that it was all going so well and I couldn't possibly keep it up, so inexplicably gave him a tap behind the saddle and promptly unbalanced him and had 2 down, dropping from 3rd to beyond the ribbons. The cross country was, on the whole, a smooth and straightforward affair. There were times when Corey felt a bit, dare I say it, bored with the fences at this height, but there were also a couple of opportunitites to test out my control and abilitiy to allow Corey to do his job and he completed with a confident clear.
After a brief visit to Warrington Horse Show for some British Showjumping (and a double clear in the 110!!), we had a cross country training session a few days before Brand Hall novice to 'fine tune' the technical aspects. Unfortunately my trainer's car broke down so we ended up schooling by ourselves. Schooling alone is often a struggle for me, as I worry about which fences to jump, but I had Neil's advice of "don't do anything too difficult; you want Corey to feel super confident for the weekend" ringing in my ears. I jumped far more than I expected because Corey was feeling absolutely brilliant and I in turn rode really well. It wasn't foot perfect and so we learned a few extra things too, and my friend Jo Prestwich, who was there taking photos for camps, shouted a few pearls of wisdom my way as well. "Trust him and allow him to do his job! Trust and allow!" I am trying to make this my new catchphrase...