Here are a couple of videos Doug took at the show in Windsor. Training Level test 2 is first, then Training Level test 3. This was the second day of Rogo's first show outing at Training Level. The comments in test 2 were to ride more forward and with more impulsion, so I tried that in the second test. I only brought the mark up .5, from 60.25 to 60. 75, although we went from 5th to 2nd place. We scored 61+ on both tests the first day, so our marks went down. This is something I'll have to watch for and figure out, as we dropped on the second day in our walk trots last year. I used to go up with every successive test on Savanah, so something is going on.
Training Level, Test 2, Windsor NS, June 5, 2011
Training Level Test 3, Windsor NS, June 5, 2011
Our next outing will be mid July when we go to a test riding clinic at Hobby Horse Farm in Annapolis Valley. Lynda Southam, an M judge from Ontario will be coming in to give the clinic. We prepare our horses and ourselves as we would for a show - braiding, show clothes, etc. and ride the tests of our choice. The judge marks it and then discusses the results with us, with tips on bringing up the score. Then we ride it again. We do this once in the morning and once in the afternoon. I'm doing both Sat, and Sun. I might try Level 1 test 1. It is no where near show ready, but I might try it in this kind of setting to get training advice for getting it show ready. He can do all the movements for that test, except lengthening stride in the trot, which we really haven't worked on. I'll see how it goes. I might drop that idea and do Training 2 and 3 or Training 1 and 3.
He can do most Level 1 movements fairly well, i.e. lengthen and shorten stride in canter, 15 m canter circles, counter canter to center line and back, so we should be solid in competition with it next year and maybe even start it this fall. If you watched the videos you will have seen that Rogo needs to be rounder and more connected, but it is getting very close. When we get this it will help everything else. We also need a steadier rhythm, precision on our circles and corners, and we didn't hit the transition points 100% of the time. Joan tells me the stretching circle is going to be our first training priority because it will help everything, and she wants him stretching well as we encourage him to work in a rounder frame.
His marks were all 6's and 7's, except he got 5's twice for impulsion - not good, especially since it's double points, and a 5 for something else I can't remember - a missed transition point? crappy circle? something like that. He is more than capable of 8's and he'll work with more impulsion now, so I just need to ride and train better. If we can just get more lessons I know we can move some of these marks up. I'd like to be consistently in mid 60's by the end of the show season. We've been without good lessons for a long time though. As a matter of fact I haven't worked consistently with Joan since I rode Savanah, so I may be expecting too much to try to get to high 60's this year, but we'll get there :).
On a completely different topic, our business partners for our equine business are our friends Megan and Greg. They are in their 20's and just got married on Sat.! It was a beautiful ceremony and Megan was stunning. I'll post a picture or two soon.