So wait. You mean this whole conditioning thing is a skill? And I have to learn it, and practice it?
Seriously, I thought it would be intuitive. Get horse onto track. Warm up. Trot forward 10 minutes (or until I can't take it any more). Walk forward 3 minutes. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Instead it was more like: Get horse onto track. Reassure horse that jumps won't bite and we're not jumping anyway. Reassure horse that sheep don't eat horses. Reassure horse that no lions live in the cattails. Reassure horse that pile of logs does not conceal a lion. Reassure horse that we are not going to jump that large skinny. Reassure horse that lions do not lurk behind trailer. At this point we've gone around the whole track and we start the lion loop again. This time at the trot ... whoops, at the trot-spook-walk-trot. Lather, rinse, repeat six times.
Honestly, she wasn't too bad, but I didn't feel entirely comfortable. I felt like I didn't have the right strategies for telling her "who cares what that is; just keep trotting." I wasn't really comfortable kicking on to a big trot, because she was full of EEK!, but by God I was going to do as much as I could and push my comfort zone.
So six laps around, as much as possible in a forward trot, focusing on relaxation and forward, and thinking all the while that I probably need a shot at this with MT or TW giving advice.
Not what I had in mind, but a start.
Then we went into the indoor, where we worked on two-point in the trot (1:07, I suck! But there's room for improvement) and in the canter (3:12, better ,but room still), worked on Transitions NOW!, and worked on bending in jump tack. By the end, we were both sweaty and tired, so that's a win.
And in other EXCITING NEWS? My new vest shipped today! Hooray!! I should have it by the first derby, which I entered the other day. Woot!!