Wow, has it really been more than two weeks since my last post? I'm sorry for the lack of updates! I'm still working with Sangria daily (if possible). I am feeling really good with where she is at in her training - she's not as far along as I had hoped she would be for the competition, but with the obstacles we've faced, she's farther along than I expected the both of us to be. To be honest, our biggest block has been my fear of her since our accident. Every single time I step into the saddle, I am hit with a pretty major anxiety attack - what if she bucks, rears, bolts or worse? She hasn't acted the way she did back in April since that fateful day, but the images sure float through my mind when I get on. I wonder if that will ever go away? Luckily, it doesn't happen when I ride other horses! :)
Over the past two weeks, I've worked on continuing to build her solid foundation. We walk, trot and canter with ease now. I've been riding her with Cowgirl Spirit Rescue Drill Team a couple times a week. We've been to a competition where we faced a very dark arena, loud music and lots of people. We've been on lots of trail rides, been swimming in the river and have even gone back to the scene of the crime - the beach. I was able to walk, trot and canter along the waves. That was a huge milestone for us!
I've also had three other people ride Sangria, after a BLM inspector (who came out to verify Sangria was being properly cared for) asked if I felt Sangria was safe for other people to ride. I quickly realized that I needed to have others ride her. If anything, Sangria does better with a rider who doesn't have the baggage I have with her. While Sangria is solid and safe, she's also very dull and unresponsive. I don't know if this is just who she is (dead sided, not soft in the bit, etc), or if it's a result of my timidness with her, or a combination of both. Either way, I have started to ride her with more energy - demanding responsiveness right away.
Things that I am going to work on in the next week before we leave for Sacramento: quicker response times, correct leads and picking up a canter from a halt. We are able to side pass, haunch turn and fore turn, though they are slow and sluggish. She has an amazing stop on her, but I think that's primarily because she loves to stop working! LOL
Either way, I am proud of Sangria's and my progress. I don't think we will be competitive in Sacramento, but I have done my best with the situation we were dealt and couldn't be happier. She is going to make someone a very, very fine horse! Here are a few pictures over the last couple weeks!
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