On Sunday, Speedy didn't get a lunge. He did get his morning walk, but I skipped the lunge work out of a healthy respect for the wet ground. He didn't seem to mind.
My rides on Sunday were late, very late. I rode just before 2:00 p.m. and then just shortly after. It was a warm day, but Speedy was back to his regular self. Instead of being sluggish, I had to deal with the usual resistance and fussiness in the bridle. For Test 2, he was being a bit of a stinker and just did not want to let go. It would seem that my task is to get the same level of obedience with energy that he offered when he was sluggish!
Movement 2 is a trot lengthening across the diagonal. Right after that, the test calls for a leg yield from the corner to X. I didn't hear my reader, so instead of leg yielding to X, I rode straight toward M. As I neared X, I finally remembered what I was supposed to be doing and was able to change the bend quickly enough to get the next leg yield from X to H.
The first leg yield earned a 5.0 (it wasn't a leg yield at all, so thank you, Judge!). The leg yield left earned a much more respectable 6.5. I detest giving away points. Not that I would have necessarily earned the 6.5 for the leg yield right as it is the harder one for us to do, but a 6.0 wouldn't have been out of the question.
The second error I made was on the 15-meter canter circle at C. For this movement, you come from a free walk to S where it becomes a medium walk. At H, you pick up a working trot and then a working canter at C. But instead of cantering into the corner, you have to pick up the canter already making the turn for the smaller 15-meter circle.
It's an easy enough movement if you're paying attention. I wasn't. I simply asked Speedy for the canter without having the necessary bend for the 15-meter circle. Fortunately, within just one stride I realized what I was doing and I added a boatload of outside leg and rein and managed to get Speedy's shoulder up and over for the 15-meter circle. He was a very good boy to make such a quick adjustment.
The judge commented that we needed bend, but we still scored a 6.5. You can see the score and comment at movement 12.
The third riding error I made was after the left lead single loop at canter. I was so focused on getting a good canter to trot transition that it happened a smidge early (movement 21). Once we were trotting, I realized that I didn't know where to go; again, I hadn't heard my reader. At the last second, I remembered that the final trot lengthening comes after that canter loop.
I don't know how good the half halt in the corner was, but the panicky feeling I had must have been read loud and clear by Speedy because he hustled himself out of the corner and across the diagonal. I don't know what the lengthening looked like, but the judge gave us a 7.0 for the whole debacle!
So. I think my First Level debut at a USDF/USEF-rated show went as well as I could have hoped for.
- All four of my scores were above 60% - that was my entire goal.
- One of the scores counts as a qualifying score for the CDS/USDF Region 7 Championship (5 scores above 62% from four judges - I need one more).
- Two of the scores also count for the USDF First Level Rider Performance Award (4 scores above 60% from four judges - I need two more)
- Since all of my scores were above 60% and there were two judges, I now have both First Level scores needed for the USDF Bronze Medal. The actual medal is a long, long way off as I also need two scores from both Second and Third Levels.
- All four scores count for my end-of-year Rosettes from CDS, which brings my current count to seven scores.
While the scores are fun to tabulate and apply, having a good time with friends and bringing home a healthy horse is really the best part. A small pile of ribbons to stash in my ribbon jars is also fun, too.