Amber was great today. Very quiet while I was tacking her up. Got a little impatient to get going towards the end. I could seriously almost hear her saying "Please hurry UP, mom! I'm ready to go have some FUN!"
She was great. We had a tiny space to work in because some of the footing was pretty slick. A little bit smaller than a large dressage arena. Which feels tiny now since I've been riding in the huge jumping ring. So we did the told tests...and she was excellent. Her 20m circles are almost perfect - she would have scored an 8 or 9 I am confident. Freewalk needs work. She isn't confident enough to really let herself stretch down. Further supports my theory that her previous owners thought head down meant ill intentions and they snatched on her face. Very clean transitions. Sharp, straight turns down centerline. I really, really think I have the beginnings of a talented little eventer. She really loves to jump, and I think she will be the kind to jump whatever you point her at. She's got energy and drive to power her through anything. I know she will have x100000 stamina when she gets more fit.
But the fact that she's already showing natural dressage talent is a plus - from what I have seen, most eventers really 'don't do dressage' so to speak. It's something they try to be the best they can be at, but it's not their thing. Too much tedious concentration, not enough speed and action.
We worked on some transitions as well and tighter turns at the canter. Obviously, jumping requires some sharp turns and I think working on the flat with those will really help us balance, pace ourselves, and not break gait or lean like a barrel racer. She did well. We had several really, really clean trot to canter transitions. Flying changes, not so much. I'm sure they will come back to her eventually. I didn't really have a lot of room to work with her on that anyway. The line was too short.
I just love her though. She's finally getting back to her normal self. Emma came up as we were finishing, and I was going to ride out to greet her...well, the rain had made the wood swell, and the gate has a wooden stick that goes through a hole in the post to latch, and it was stuck. I was trying to undo it without dismounting.
I found a hidden talent in Amber. I had to move her into all kind of positions to get hold of that bar. I ended up having to drop my reins, lean all the way down and pull up on the gate to twist the bar out and she was so still and patient. Oh yes. We'd clean up a trail class.
I'm just so pleased to see her happy though. She's enjoying her work again. She actually has a healthy social life within her group of pasture mates. She actually has a routine to follow, and doesn't have to deal with chaotic things going on around her.
At Andreas, she would pace the stall door, no matter if the other horses were in or out. Now, she sleeps under her fan while she's stalled, not the least bit bothered about being inside.
I think most importantly, she's figured out she doesn't have to worry about anything at this barn. I highly suspect Andrea skipped out on feedings some times. She also didn't keep a good schedule. And with letting the horses in all at once, I'm sure Amber had to fight with another horse for her own feed at some point. Now, she knows what time she gets fed at, and she knows that nobody else will be able to get to her feed. There's no more ear pinning and ill behavior when she's going in for dinner, or being brought hay/ect. She doesn't have to put up with 15 other horses that are so close to her with no way for her to go off to have alone time if she wants. Nor do her pasture mates go out of their way just to run her around.
Life is good for my main mare. She's spoiled. She's loved. And above all, she is just enjoying her cushy life as a prospective show horse.