Test Riding Clinic

Rogo and I rode in a test riding clinic last weekend, and rode Level One, test one. We scored 60+, as we did at the show, and got some great pointers. Once again Rogo was VERY forward :), so I'm going to have to work on getting more response to half halts and down transitions.
The big learning things from the clinic and this test were:
  • on the 'at E circle left 10 m to X, circle right 10 m to B', I was riding the first half of the circle too small and the second half too big. Watch for C as soon as I start to turn and ride to the center line for the half circle.
  • Rogo can do a straight entry and square halt, but often cocks one leg, ruining what would be an 8. I have to keep my legs lightly on to keep him ready, but not enough that he starts to fidget - a fine line :)
  • on the entry - and I have to relearn this every show - make SURE I'm lined up with C. I tend to go to the left, and drift left as I proceed, but straight on the center line is well within our range, so don't give it away.
We do fairly well at showing a difference before and after lengthenings in trot and canter, but we need more practice coming back from lengthened canter. Rogo would prefer to keep the bigger gait, and I can't be sure he won't just keep going when he heads down the long side :)
Given his exhuberance in canter, I'm happy to say he doesn't break to canter in the trot lengthening, which is odd, because when we school he always wants to, and continually tries to, canter all the time once he's cantered.
Our big downfall was that in left lead canter he switched his back legs (disunited?). It felt rough so I looked down and saw his front legs were correct, so I kept going. A stride or two later it was smooth again, so I forgot about it and continued on. Apparently when it went smooth, he switched in front as well, so now he was in counter canter, which I carried over to the next movement getting 2's on two movements. He counter canters so smoothly and easily that he'll go right into the corners, turn across the diagonal, etc. effortlessly. I know I should feel it, but when the roughness disappeared and I had just glanced down a second before to ensure his front legs told me his lead was correct, I just didn't realize. I'll have to develop a better feel for this.
Here are some pictures:

And here are some adorable puppies, Lucy and Ethel, trying to figure out how to get cute and tired Andrew to keep playing with them :)


Anonymous said…
Sounds like fun and a great learning experience - nice that you got some picures!
Val said…
The pictures are great! Rogo looks so grown up.
Oak Creek Ranch said…
Rogo is really coming along nicely! Flash switches front or back at canter pretty often -- we call that rough canter, half correct and half wrong: cross-firing. Its a common term around here... not sure if its a US term or a Western US thing or just us weirdos in California.
Karen said…
I love your horse. Just love him!!! The photos look great!
Jeni said…
Great photo's Carol. Love your self analysis and you guys ROCK !!!
I second Val - Rogo does look very grown up now. You two make a beautiful pair.

Sounds like you have a handle on what you need to work on going forward. (forward not being on the list!)

Congrats on a successful show. Your hard work is obviously paying off. :)
I think you two look wonderful together! Every time we ride or show it's a learning experience. You and Rogo have come far. Congratulations!
allhorsestuff said…
Wow , you two are massively handsome!! Nice work, both of you.
I too love the self-critique...wise and concisely laid out for refferance.
( helps me too, though I'm still only doing " Trailsage") I practice precision out there!

Wonderful photos!
juliette said…
I just can't believe those photos are Rogo. He is amazingly mature looking. He looks like a completely different horse! He always looks beautiful, but he looks so together and focused and slick and sleek and wonderful. Carol, you really can be proud of all you two are accomplishing as a team! I have a soft spot in my heart for Rogo and his love for you, but these photos tell the whole tale of what a smart looking and acting horse he really is! Congratulations on this great clinic.
Lori Skoog said…
I'm impressed! Great pictures.
Carol said…
Thanks for the feedbakc everyone. You're very kind!
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Achieve1dream said…
Those pictures are fantastic!! You both look great!
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