Speedy looks 99% sound, but I won't know for sure until I ride him tomorrow. If he's sound, I'd rather show him than Izzy. As I was thinking about what to do, my first thought was that he hasn't been ridden in more than a week. Immediately after, the most arrogant, get ready to be stricken by lighting thought popped into my head.
Get ready for it ...
I actually thought It's only First Level.
Really. I did. I can remember when I would have chopped off an arm, or at least a toe to compete at First Level. And now, here I am dismissing the level as though a 65% is a gimme. Trust me, it's not. In any case, Speedy is such an awesome horse that I have every confidence in his ability to tote me around at First Level no matter how little he's been ridden. He's just that forgiving of a horse.
As I was filling out the entry, my pen wavered back and forth between Intro C and Training Level 2 - Test 1 was already a given. I've never ridden the 2015 Training Level tests, so when I saw test 2, I was all what the what?!?! That thing looks HARD! Decision made - If we show, we're doing Intro Test C and Training Level Test 1.
With that in mind, I've been hard at work. While Izzy is still an idiot for every ride, the jackassery varies throughout the week. After a day or two off, I am guaranteed 45 minutes of DUDE! As the week progresses, it dwindles down to Aw ... aren't you sweet.
The thing I am most proud of is our canter work. While the holy crap moments are still there, we have a confirmed left and right lead canter. I am now just improving the bend, suppleness, and submissiveness. He was a real ass the other day to the right, but I stumbled on an exercise that fixed him right up.
Since he wanted to brace and stiffen and and throw his shoulders around to the right, I just stuck him in a ten-meter canter circle until he was begging to go straight. Each time he tried to dive in, I let him. I circled him tighter and tighter, forcing him to really sit until he was thrilled about cantering straight.
Training Level is where they have to start cantering the long side, so I am just working on strategies to help him learn that he can go straight. So Training Level, be prepared ... we're coming for you! First Level, you've got nothing to worry about. Speedy's got you covered!