Expose Jasper to new things in a show setting. Start getting him used to being around lots of other horses/trailers/people/commotion.
Take him through water for the first time.
Practice riding on all kinds of terrain (dressage in an arena with fancy footing of some kind, there were fields, a creek, plus you have to go up a huge huge steep hill to get to the x-country course).
Take him through his first course of jumps.
Build confidence through having a positive experience.
I had two boys from the ranch with me and wouldn't have been able to do it without them. I'd like to show the super cute pictures of them and Jasper but of course it's not allowed for privacy reasons.
When Jasper gets nervous he needs to move. So instead of fighting him we let him move. He got off the trailer and was groomed and was saddled on the fly. He stood still long enough for me to get on and we were off. I do have to say, though, even though he needs to move he's quiet about it. When I get on he doesn't bolt away, he just energetically walks on a light rein.
Dressage warm up. You can kind of see my taped-together fingers. I rode with my right rein around my pointer finger.
After we got through the creek the first time (you have to go through it to get from the trailer parking to the competition area) we were waaaaay behind schedule. When I got to the warm-up for dressage it was 9:20 and I rode at 9:31. It was a short warm-up but I really don't think he would have calmed down much more unless I had a good hour to canter around. I was really pleased with both the warm-up and the test. It wasn't as nice a test as last time, but it was in a much spookier setting. The judge was great, when we were doing our pre-test circle of the arena he was scared of the judge's stand and she actually came down and pet him and led him through. It was next to a hillside pasture with horses in it and tall grass and weeds blowing in the wind. Not to mention all the whinnying horses in the background.
More bend in circles for higher scores. He DID get an 8 on a walk-trot transition, though! Dressage score: 34 (which is a 66), the judge said he was elegant.
Heading to cross-country. This may be my favorite picture of the day. At this point (after much schooling) he went through the creek all by himself.
His first vertical. This picture just cracks me up. If I hadn't been grabbing mane I would have landed in the dust.
When we were done I tied him to the trailer with my new Blocker Tie Ring. I love it. He never pulled back this time but I felt much better tying him with it. We sat in chairs and were eating lunch with this view. At one point he stood still- all 4 feet were motionless- so we took a picture!
I couldn't believe we placed. Our dressage score was actually one of the higher ones, but I don't know how we only ended up with 8 jumping faults through the water. Obviously they judge the 12" Rockhopper division much differently than the other divisions. This isn't the best picture of him but it's the only one where you can see my fingers!