So the title pretty much says it all, but I'll tell the story anyway.
The weather was looking pretty ominous and I'm feeling almost 100%, so I didn't want to push my luck by riding. Tomorrow will be the day I ride!! (We do have another show on Saturday...) But for today, we went back to the arena to work on more showmanship. When I first outfitted her in the showmanship halter and lead, she got a bit wide eyed and didn't look happy to be working on more showmanship. I assured her that she was going to be a perfect pony and there was nothing to worry about.
Just in case, though, I filled up a cup with animal crackers so I could treat her each time she set up properly. She followed obediently as we walked out to the arena, with two dogs hot on our heels begging for some of those animal crackers.
Rather than going right into the set ups, I worked on some pivoting and backed her around the cones again. Then we jogged off, stopped, and I turned to her to ask for the set up. All four hooves were placed in their perfect places! "Good girl!" Lots of praise, lots of scratches, and a smooch on the nose. She buried her head in my chest and started licking. I think she was nervous that she might do it wrong...
I offered her a cookie. She took it, but held it in her mouth without chewing. The superstar showmanship pony knows there is no eating when she's in her showmanship halter... I've created a monster!! I scratched her some more and offered her another cookie, which she took and held in her mouth. It wasn't until we walked off to do the cones again that I saw her chewing.
We worked on more patterns, each with plenty of set ups, and she did just as I asked. There were a couple times where she wasn't placing her feet where I asked, but with a loud "EH" she corrected herself. She got a cookie after each set up and as the session wore on, chewed them up when they were given to her.
We only worked for about 15 minutes. I didn't want to push the issue and wanted her to feel rewarded for her performance. She was SO much better today!