Friday, November 8, 2013

Ready to Show

By Jennifer Truett

This place looks amazing! The Alltech Arena is magnificently decorated -- as much as any World Cup, Olympics, or World Equestrian Games I've ever seen. There are mounds of exquisite flowers everywhere, even overflowing into the show ring at the corners. 
 
The Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. Photo (c) 2013 USDF.
Taffy and Sunset apparently both believe that flowers are completely acceptable outside the arena but have no place cascading over the corners into the arena. Sunset only considered the flowers in the corner to be questionable once, and Taffy took a few more looks, but both decided that all was well. 

I am ecstatic to report that Sunset felt 100 percent! He walked into that arena like it was our arena at home. He was incredible. He was happy, elastic, powerful, in front of my leg, soft in the connection, a total dream to ride. Yay! 

Taffy was also amazingly soft, elastic, and powerful. Developing correct contact has been such an interesting journey with him. His flight response used to completely overtake every thought, and he'd simply forget I was there while he was leaving the scene. I wound up having to compete him in a double bridle so that I could pick up the curb in those moments. Amazingly, over the past few weeks, he has let me into his thoughts much more than ever before, which has resulted in his being extra soft and sensitive to the snaffle. 

I've debated about what to show him in for the past few days, and opted for the snaffle for schooling in the Alltech. I was overjoyed with how perfectly soft and responsive the connection was the entire ride. Today I get to ride them in the outdoor arenas and will see how he is in the snaffle there. My hope is that he's no different and that I can compete in the snaffle. 

Both boys are happy to have free time in the paddock I rented. They play and carry on in there, and Taffy really enjoyed getting very muddy -- even his ears!


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