The good news is that I have another blue ribbon to add to my collection. The bad news is that … well, there really isn’t any bad news. I didn’t score a 60% for my first ride of the day, which was my goal, but I was still satisfied with the ride. If you follow me on Facebook, you already know my score and how we did. No secrets here: my first ride of the day earned me a so-so 57.679%. The judge’s comment on the back of the test completely and accurately sums up our experience, “A very attractive horse – help him learn to accept and stretch to the bit so you can improve balance and bending.”
I actually liked how I rode this test regardless of the less than stellar score. The thing that has been getting us each time on this particular test is the transition to trot as we come out of the left lead canter at E. During my warm up ride on Friday evening, I just couldn’t get anything even remotely acceptable which was completely my fault. I still feel as though pushing his haunches out is going to fix the problem when the real problem is that his rib cage is pressed against my inside leg because his haunches and nose are already out.
I actually thought the stretchy trot wasn’t that bad, but the judge saw otherwise. We scored our typical 4.
From that point on, we did better by earning 6s and 7s except for the right lead canter, which earned a 5 with a comment that says something about being counter flexed and evasive. It’s pretty hard to read; if anyone can decipher what it says, PLEASE comment.
While the score doesn’t seem like one to be proud of, I was pleased with how the ride went especially since our Friday warm up was so bad. I felt like I was actually riding and addressing our issues. I worked really hard to not over-ride my horse. I didn’t feel stiff, and I felt like I was actually riding moment by moment. My rider position was the same as always, a 6, but I liked that I was having a conversation with Speedy as I rode the test. I wasn't hoping for a good ride; I was riding for a good ride. There's a big difference.
Here is the score sheet for training Level Test 2 … (Click to enlarge.)