Apparently, I haven't been very watchful this last few weeks as I missed the post about an upcoming Ride-a-Test hosted by the Kern River Chapter of the California Dressage Society (here in Bakersfield). A Ride-a-Test, for those who don't know, is a chance to ride a dressage test of your choice under the watchful eye of a "judge" while then having a chance to talk to the judge and then re-ride the test all at a very nominal fee.
Kern River's judge is Mary Meyer, an "L" Graduate. When Mary judges the Ride-a-Tests, she judges the movements as well as she can, but she encourages schooling of the horse when necessary. In another words, if your 20-meter canter circle at A is a disaster, she pauses her judging to allow you to repeat the movement as often as you would like.
Fortunately for me, the woman who hosts Kern River's Facebook page sent out a little reminder about the event just in time for me to get an entry submitted, thank you, Edyta! The event is being held tomorrow at Confetti Farms. I am taking Sydney of course, but I can't believe how tense I feel just thinking about riding him in an off the property arena.
I've decided to ride just one test. If he's going to be a jerk, I want to just get him through it without him feeling terrorized for two hours. And if on the off chance that he is relatively well-behaved, I want him to walk away from that one test feeling some sense of success.
I sent in my entry without really stating which test I planned to ride (sorry about that, ride secretary!). We'll either do Introductory Level Test C or Training Level Test One. Is that super short three-quarter canter circle at A better, or is the longer canter that begins just after A a better option?
My gut says to do T1 because if he fusses during the Intro C canter, I don't have any time to work him through the movement; a few strides after we start, we need to transition back to trot. I'd rather work him through the canter, but I might I need more time than the three-quarter circle allows.
So, if you're interested in seeing how we're progressing, come on down and watch some dressage tests. Sydney and I go at 12:30. I am quite certain that some of the local riders will be out working on next season's tests so you'll probably get to see quite a variety of horses and riders.
Confetti Farms is located at 6855 Cottonwood Road in Bakersfield.