I had an hour between tests which was too much time to keep riding, but not enough time to untack and let Speedy eat lunch. By the time I thought to really start warming up again, I had less than 10 minutes to ride and put my coat on. Dork ...
Training Level Test 3 is a bit tricky. But then I suppose most of the Test 3s are tricky, whatever the level. For me, it's the start of the test that really challenges me. The test starts out with the standard enter at "A," halt at "X," and track left at "C," but it goes immediately into a one loop from HXK which is then followed by a left lead canter between "A" and "F." From there, you make a 20 meter circle at B, but then you continue on to "C" where you begin to cross the diagonal with a trot transition at "X."
Those first four movements come at me in fast forward, especially when I've rushed the warm-up. There's a lot of bending, and Speedy and I are really working on getting it. Our score wasn't bad, 61.800%, and for the most part I am happy with a score over 60%, but I know we can ride the test better. Training Level Test 2 is beginning to feel relatively comfortable for us, and I know we're close with Test 3 as well.
After those four movements, the test always improves. Even the next loop (6.5) and canter to the right (6.0) feel easier. And surprisingly, our stretchy trot earned a 6.0 even though there was "limited stretching." It was still improved however, so I am not going to quibble. Not to give away too much, but we really nailed all of the halts throughout the weekend: 7.5, 7.5, 7.0, and 8.0.
Saturday ended on a good note: we earned a second place finish on our first test with 64.464% and then closed out the day with a fifth place finish on the second test with 61.800%. It was a good day.