I did a horrible job of taking photos, so there aren't even any fun "show prep" photos to fill in the space - sorry about that. The morning did go well though. Having afternoon ride times was a real treat. It meant that I was able to pack the trailer and give Speedy his bath the morning of the show rather than in the afternoon before.
I was worried about how the day was going to go though as Speedy was really upset about the whole bath thing. As soon as I pulled the trailer around he got anxious, which is normal, but he continued to dance around and shiver right up until the moment that I loaded him. He knew what was going on and was either excited or worried.
Fortunately, I had lots of time once I arrived at the Bear Valley Equestrian Center, so I clipped Speedy to the HI-Tie and let him finish his breakfast while I went to check in and watch some other riders go. Standing there for an hour took all of his worry away. He relaxed, and even seemed to get sleepy for the rest of the day.
The test started out well with a seven for our entry and halt, and the scores continued to be okay for our half circles at E (a six and a five point five), but from there on out we were just not quite there.
New for us is the amount of medium walk we need to do. At Training Level, the medium walk is only for a few steps to help gather the horse for the working trot. First Level has longer stretches of medium walk. Speedy kept anticipating the trot cue, so his stride got a bit hurried (see movement six).
All of the movements just came at me a bit too fast. I know I was also just letting everything happen rather than preparing for the next movement. Speedy wasn't helping me out either. He was fighting me in the canters, which has been his MO lately, as he doesn't want to really sit. It's hard work, I get it, but like I said, he didn't exactly give me anything voluntarily.
I didn't beat myself up about the ride. I had an hour until my next ride so I went up and had some cake to celebrate Anne's century ride and thanked Lois for reading my test. She gave me a few pointers (which turned out to be REALLY helpful), and then I went back to the trailer to study test 2.
Cake is apparently quite good for dressage riders as my second test went much better! More tomorrow ...