While Chemaine is an awesome trainer and coach, she's not my regular trainer so I feel a bit uncomfortable requesting coaching from her. She was there coaching several of her other students on Sunday, but conveniently, one of her riders had times right next to mine, so we were all warming up at the same time.
We tacked up together, but Chemaine's obligation is to her own students, so I tried to just keep an ear out for any useful nuggets I might catch in the wind. Occasionally I would hear Chemaine say something like bigger trot or good, pat him. I assumed these bits were aimed at her own students, but I borrowed them for myself anyway. I figured a bigger trot and a pat on the neck couldn't hurt our riding.
And then on the wind, I would hear my own name and know that the directions were for me specifically. I snatched each of those gems out of the air and put them to work for me. The one real piece of advice that Chemaine had given me before we tacked up was to wake Speedy up with a full on gallop. She meant the kind where the wind is whipping through your hair, and you can't hear anything above its roar.
I had never done a full on gallop in a warm-up ring before, and it was fun! Speedy woke up and got some serious sparkle about him. He enjoyed it as much as I did. The other thing I worked on was getting him to "hop" away from my inside spur so that we could get some inside bend. Both the gallop and the lateral work paid off.
I could not have asked for a better start to Training Level, Test 2. Look at the remarks for movement 2: showing bend and flexion. Yes!!!!!! Did I mention that this is the same judge that I rode for on Saturday? This is true improvement and not just a different set of eyes. Yesterday's scores went: 7.0, 6.0, 6.5, 6.5, 6.0, and 6.5. That's a three point increase.
- 3 - Working canter left lead: 7.0 (x2) Fairly smooth. Right on!!!!!
- 10 - Circle right 20m: 7.0 Showing bend and flexion. Dude.
We finished with a score of 63.800% which earned us another second place out of four.
And of course, the RAAC is only a month away. I am feeling pretty good about where we are and where we're heading.