Too late for a spoiler alert, huh? It's true. We rocked Training Level Test 3. I knew it was going to be a good ride as soon as we entered the arena. I was prepared.
My final test of the day came several hours after T-2 which gave Speedy and me both a chance to rest and think. He had a small snack in his stall while I enjoyed a barbecued cheeseburger on the viewing deck. I hydrated myself, ran through the test a few more times, and saddled up.
My second warm up of the day was almost identical to the first: a walk lap followed by a few small left circles and a canter to trot transition. That was it. I walked Speedy over to the gate and gave him a little pep talk. I encouraged him, pat his neck, and worked on raising both of our energy levels. I was actually excited to ride the test.
The bell rang, and I entered from a right bend and halted at X. I felt Speedy drift a wee bit, but I knew it was a pretty decent halt. From that point on, my entire focus was on riding each movement to the best of my ability. I remembered to prepare Speedy for each transition, and my efforts paid off. The stretchy trot is the last movement before trotting up centerline for the final halt and salute. It was the first time that he has ever actually stretched during a test. You should have seen my smile! The score: a 6.5!!!!!
Our final score? 63.800%, with another 9 point jump from the day before! I know that watching and studying better riders helped improve my own rides for the weekend. Just to show how much we improved over the weekend, here's a little "chart" showing my points and final scores.
- Training Level Test 2 - 161.5 points, 57.679% Saturday
- Training level Test 2 - 170.5 points, 60.893% Sunday
- Training Level test 3 - 150.5 points, 60.200% Saturday
- Training Level Test 3 - 159.5 points, 63.800% Sunday
Oddly, Training Level Test 2 is actually worth more points than Test 3. Test 2 has a maximum value of 280 while Test 3's maximum is 250.
The things that I most love about my T-3 score are that there is nothing lower than a 6.0, our stretchy trot finally earned a "passing" score, and we finished the show with an 8 for our Halt, Salute. What a great ending to a really enjoyable show.
Score sheets are below ...