I made several riding mistakes in the Introductory C test. Even though I corrected most of them for the Training Level 1 test, I can clearly see the faults in my riding. I worked on many of them with the judge afterward. The clinic should be tomorrow's post.
As you watch the video down below (sorry it's so blurry!) , you'll see my right hand is held much higher than my left (see photo). It is also much stronger than the left. I try to keep him on the rail and drag him through the circle with the right rein. Watch how we track left at C - I can clearly see him bracing against my outside hand. The other thing that you can clearly see is that I am not using my legs in the turns, especially on the 20 meter circle. The judge gave us some great work at bending from the ribcage. There was an AHA! moment there.
I do like this test much better than yesterday's. Did you notice how quiet I had him enter at A? Unlike the C test where he charged into the arena and proceeded to bulldoze through the test. I needed to be more forward, but at least he was more balanced.
When you get to the canter transitions, you'll see that the first one is okay. I asked for it too early, but at least we got the correct lead and completed the movement. I was very disappointed in the stretchy trot circle though. We get that one at home. I couldn't get him to reach down at all. Since this was the first time we've ridden this movement in a test, I am just glad he didn't bolt and run off!
The second canter transition is my favorite part of the ride because it illustrates perfectly what I am doing wrong. We had a huge error, but I now know he can do lead changes! As we came out of the circle at A, I knew we should go straight to E, but Speedy was dead set on continuing around back to A. I gave him leg to stay on the rail and he switched leads. This shows me that I am not preparing him for the bend. I wasn't sure whether it was better to finish the half circle at the canter on the wrong lead, or come back to trot and fix the mistake. You can see that it takes me a bit to decide. I ultimately decided to fix the lead.
When I came back to trot and got the correct lead, I forgot where I was in the test. Just after fixing the canter lead, I was supposed to come back to trot and turn up the center line. As soon as I passed A and started up the long side, I knew I had made a mistake, but I couldn't remember how far into the canter movement I had been when he switched leads. So, I stopped before the judge could even ring her bell and just waited for instructions. She finally told me I had missed center line. Doh! So close ...
The video is pretty blurry. Hubby very graciously offered to video for me, but he said he had trouble with the focus. You can still see what's going on, but you might have to squint! The score sheets are below the video. Click the pictures for a larger view. And that's my Training Level debut!