You see, my coach knows Leslie Webb and even encouraged me to take a lesson with her as she thought it would be good for me to hear it from someone else. Once Coach heard my feedback, it was game on! You know how to ride a serpentine, show me! Uh-oh! You know the correct marks for hitting your 20-meter circle, show me! Well mostly ... You still have your tests memorized, show me! ... And there were no more stand-around-and-rest-breaks.
After working the serpentines, both on a regular bend and on a counter bend, we did some 20-meter circles and then went straight to Introductory Test B. And actually, we rode it very well. [There!, with a big phssst to Taz's mom - I gave myself some credit!]
And on to Introductory Test C ... up the center line, tracking right at C, nice 20-meter circle at B, pick up the canter just after A ... CRAP! Here's where the do it again chant came in. Every time I asked for the canter at A, Speedy G gave a pretty big cow kick, or a straight up buck. We tried it again, and again, and again. I tried asking for the canter at a different point on the circle and got a smoother transition. Back to A, nope. I tried asking for the canter with a quieter aid, better, but not perfect. When we got a quieter transition, Coach had me repeat the test from the beginning.
I wish I could say that with the canter schooling in the middle we rocked the test, but I can't. By the time we rode the test again, I was getting tired and Speedy G was just pissed. I am definitely a stronger, more balanced rider when I am not tired, but Coach felt that it was important to finish the ride so that I'll know what it feels like to ride tired if that happens at a show. So, we finished. Not fabulous, but we got the canter transitions both ways, and I got some nice collection in the 20-meter circles.
Do you have a coach? If not, I strongly recommend finding one!