Dillon and I at our second show together. He was my boy!
Timing is everything, they say, and I was EXTREMELY fortunate that we were having a clinic this Saturday! This is the same guy who came in January so he knew all of us. I explained to Mel what happened and asked for some help, and we got down to business. He helped me ride through her antics, and coached me with some transitions to work with her, emphasizing that I had to control my emotions. If I get annoyed, frustrated, irritated, what have you, she'll get nervous, frustrated, and start to panic. Celtic is a great horse, who will try her heart out but if she has no clue what you want, she'll hit that panic button.
During the clinic, we did some trot and sustained canter work (yay!) which actually was pretty awesome! She wasn't curling/hiding from my contact, and once I forgot about riding in contact, we got along just fine with some very nice downward transitions. Overall, very happy with what we accomplished and have some new tools to go to when we get in a bind.
For those of you who are english riders, don't be afraid to take a clinic from someone outside your discipline. I wasn't too sure about riding in this clinic, but am extremely happy I did. I should have some video from the clinic to post tomorrow (fingers crossed).
Random picture of Celtic and I lunging in winter in the barn yard.