When this past summer's show season ended, we started schooling some of the Third Level movements, especially those in Test 1. By the way, I've created links to all of the 2019 tests if you ever need to look at them. The movements introduced in Third Level, Test 1 include extended gaits, half pass at trot, and the single flying change. When I read the directives for the extended gaits - Utmost ground cover with lengthening of frame; I kind of laughed - the only thing Speedy can do to the "utmost" is beg for treats!
Some days, I frantically text Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables, begging her to fix whatever is currently wrong with my riding and aids. Her task is monumental because my shortcomings rotate on an unpredictable schedule. Sometimes, it's my hands that are causing the problem, other times it's seat. It is more accurate to say that all of it is due to my lack of knowing what the heck it is I am supposed to be doing.
Speedy's rein back is getting quite nice, and he has even learned that it's four steps back and then forward. I haven't tried rein back to trot yet, but I have a feeling he'll get that pretty quickly. The hardest movement of the level, the flying change, is coming along. They're still a bit ... explosive, but he gets it. He's even arrived at the stage where he wants to throw them in any time I even tweak the bend.
We rarely get there, but when we do, the struggle is all worth it!