If we're friends on Facebook, you already know that Speedy kicked some First Level butt. That dude is a total rock star. He showed up and was nothing but business. I tied him to the trailer with his hay bag and a bucket of water and left to check in and visit with friends. Knowing that he will stand there for hours and hours without causing any trouble takes away so much stress and worry. I "heart" you, Speedy G.
Once again, I asked for a reader; being out of the country for two weeks didn't give me much time to work on memorizing the tests. I hate relying on a reader, but I have to say, I rode much better for having one. Instead of having that dual conversation running through my head ... half circle right 10-meters, returning to the track at M combined with inside leg, half halt, weight on the inside seat bone ... I was able to focus completely on riding my horse in every moment without worrying about where to go.
If you've been following our journey for a while, you'll know that we s.t.r.u.g.g.l.e.d. with the canter departures for a long time. A 4.5 wasn't unusual, and eventually, a 5.5 was the normal. Then we started getting the occasional 6 and maybe even a 7, so to earn an 8 (and we did it on test 2 as well) shows pretty remarkable improvement.
I knew our 10-meter circle was going to get a low score anyway, but by fixing the canter and rebalancing, I was able to set Speedy up for a better downward transition at A. My strategy worked as the judge gave us a 7 for the transition.