For instance, he will not tolerate being schooled five days a week. Don't even think about it. He's happy to be ridden five days a week, but some of those rides better include some trail work, poles, or at least a field trip. This is the reason I have two horses.
When we work three days in a row, and although it horrifies him, occasionally four, and then follow that with a day or two off, I am usually rewarded with a seriously WOW kind of day. That's what happened on Sunday.
Izzy got a field trip on Friday which meant it was too hot to ride Speedy when we got back. We went to the beach on Saturday, so both horses had a day off. When Sunday rolled around, I knew Speedy was ready for a good work out. He didn't disappoint.
I feel as though we should be done with First Level, but the reality is that this level is a major foundation for what's to come. Let the rest of the world zoom by us; I don't care. What I do care about is not squeaking by with a 60%. I want scores in the high 60s and even into the 70s.
In test one, the horse must perform a serpentine of three equal loops with simple changes of lead over centerline. While we can't do a canter to walk transition, I loved the idea of doing all of those changes of lead that weren't at X. I just figured we could do trot transitions instead of the canter-walk-canter.
I started out on a 20-meter circle doing trot to canter transitions at what would be B and E. I did those over and over first on a left lead canter and then a right. When I felt that Speedy was really listening, I gave it a try in a three-loop serpentine. And you know what? He got every change of lead the first time through the exercise.
Sorry, ladies, but he's not for sale!