As a side note, I have stunk it up at the two locals shows that I have done. What is it about showing in your back yard? I think I must sabotage myself in front of everyone I know on purpose. How do I get those 70s when I am two hours from home and no one knows me? There must be some type of corollary in there I am sure!
So back to wanting to do well. The schooling show from last weekend told me that we are definitely on the right track, but there is plenty of room for improvement. I showed my score sheets to JL who picked up right away that we need to start doing lots of figure eights and changes of direction. So that's what we did.
A figure eight in a lesson, I have discovered now twice in the last month, is not the shape of the tear drop eight that we draw in school. Instead, the figure eight is actually two very round circles that touch on their sides. The place where they touch creates an opportunity for straightness before changing the bend. Here's a picture of the correct figure.
Let's just say that the lightbulb that went on over my head would have rivaled any casino's light display on the Vegas strip. OMG is all I can say. I passed through the "straight" and made the turn toward H. It was effortless and Speedy stayed balanced and connected. I laughed out loud and exclaimed like an idiot, OH! My outside leg is the new inside leg! JL just nodded knowingly and asked, do you get it? Uh, yeah!
So why is this important? Again, OMG! Now as we make our corners, I can catch the outside shoulder but am then poised to push the ribcage out if he tries to fall in as we make the turn for a change in bend. This will be important for the trot loop in the Training Level 3 test. What an unbelievably simple idea ... why am I only just now getting it?
We did many transitions through the middle of the two circles and each one just got better and better. This was definitely another one of those game changer ideas. I can't wait to see how we do next weekend!