I've been really enjoying my working student position, and dressage has no longer become a "chore", fortunately, because I learn more and more about it everyday! Riding one of the more experienced horses has been very benefecial to me, although I don't always realize it until I go to give an aid or ask for something and I know how it's supposed to feel. Infact, I taught an OTTB I work with weekly her first step of leg-yielding this week. I was very excited!
Yesterday we worked on riding through my test. I don't want to jinx myself for this weekend, but Octavian and I have both improved. To my shock, after going doing our shoulder-ins, Gabriele said they were "very nice"! Counter-canter was "Good, he's got the tuff stuff down" (Good boy, Octavian!). Our major hiccup in the test always comes after the trot transition at M after the free walk. Octavian really dislikes getting back on the bit so quickly, so that is something we will just have to continue working on, but I may get a 4 on that transition this weekend but we will try our best. My main goal in the dressage ring is to remember not to panic. As Gabriele puts it, he is really listening to my half halts now, but despite that, I have a habit of being "grrr" and riding with too much hand because I sometimes expect him not to listen to my half-halts (more old habits!). So, I am going to try really hard to not panic and communicate with Octavian well...the correct way. As for jumping, it's been coming along pretty well, no complaints. We school lots of corners in the stadium ring.
Looks as if we may finally be ready to hit the road, we're off to The Maryland Horse Trials at Loch Moy. I'm extremely excited, it's been too long since Rubicon! Hopefully we have a good weekend, and I hope that when I arrive at the barn this morning, my horse doesn't look like a paint but rather the nice WHITE fleabitten gray I left yesterday!