Well, friends, I was definitely right when I said that I was beginning a whole new chapter in my life. This is where the hard work begins.
So, I know I said yesterday that I was really eager to work today… but when today rolled around, I just wasn’t really feeling that into it. I mean, I guess I was into the working part, but my Mommy has been making me practice a lot of dressage lately, and I just don’t want to do it that often. Now, when I say dressage, I don’t necessarily mean the fancy kind – you know, not the stuff they do on the television – just the basic movements like leg yields at the trot and canter, extending and collecting my trot and canter, turning on my haunches, lead changes, counter cantering… things like that. And I know that those movements are all aimed at helping me become super responsive and agile and balanced, but all I want to do is gallop fast and jump high! Isn’t that what being a show jumper is all about!?
Yeah, you’re right… I guess it’s about more than that. I mean, when I was cantering up to that five foot vertical, I was so excited that I almost forgot to listen to my Mommy when she asked me to collect or extend, or when she put her outside leg against me as we came around the turn to approach the jump. And even though I’m getting really good at knowing my own distances to the jumps – especially when they’re that big – my Mommy still knows more than me, and I have to remember to listen to her.
Okay, okay, I just realized why my Mommy is working so hard with me on the flat. I guess it’s necessary for me to practice my flatwork as much as possible so I will be completely in tune with my Mommy when she is trying to communicate with me during a course of big jumps. I just wish we could jump big more often! I guess I’ll have to be patient… And we all know that’s not one of my strengths.
I am a little ashamed to say that I rebelled against having to do dressage today. I did the opposite of almost everything my Mommy wanted me to do; I pushed against her leg instead of moving away from it, I sped up when she asked me to slow down… I was just testing the waters, and trying to make it clear that I was NOT in the mood for more dressage today. Finally, after I had tested her patience more than enough, Mommy got after me. She made me side-pass, turn on the haunches where I stood, back up, turn on the forehand… and then she made me canter in the slowest, most collected gait I could possibly muster. Finally, I got the picture: if I didn’t start behaving, I was going to do work that was even worse than the normal exercises we had been doing.
So, I decided to stop messing around and start behaving.
To my supreme joy, as soon as I began behaving like a gentleman, my Mommy let me start doing more fun things… Like, for instance, when I did a really nice collected canter, she let me extend into a gallop down the long side of the arena! And, as long as I came right back to a collected canter when she asked me to, she would let me do it again!! It turned out to be a lot of fun, in the end.
I suppose that I learned a valuable lesson today. Even when I don’t think it’s fun to do certain exercises, I need to trust that my Mommy knows what she is doing. Because I might want to run fast and jump high all the time, but unless I continue to work just as hard on my flatwork, I’m not going to be able to jump nearly as successfully as I should.
With that in mind, I’m heading to bed. I’m going to dream about jumping in the Grand Prix, so that way I won’t be too upset when I find out that we’re probably doing even more dressage tomorrow. Goodnight, y’all!