Rather than let myself feel defeated, I decided to get to work studying the tests. There's a lot to learn for sure. I read the purpose of Third Level and gulped. The part that got me was engagement. The word is used twice, but then they throw in self-carriage which requires, you guessed it, engagement.
- Extended gaits - we don't have any ... yet, although I started schooling the medium canter yesterday and was happy with how much more uphill it felt compared to this summer.
- Half pass at trot - we have it, barely, and it's pretty weak.
- Single Flying Change - we have them, but they're still very dramatic.
- Renvers - the same as our travers which is to say we struggled with bend AND forward last year. Same issue with renvers.
- Release of reins at canter - I do this ALL THE TIME with Izzy, but I am not sure how to do it during a test.
- Half pass at canter - nope, okay we sort of have one, sometimes.
- Rein back to trot - I tried this for the first time the other day and got it immediately. That doesn't mean it's perfect, but Speedy caught on to that concept without even trying. Maybe this will be one of those movements where can make up points.
If I had to ride Third Level Test 1 tomorrow, I feel like we could at least do all of the movements. The extended gaits would come with the comment "need to show more". The half pass would read, "needs more bend and engagement". We might get lucky and get clean flying changes, but in all likelihood, the comment would read "tense and explosive".