|Pretty pics courtesy of the incomparable Supermom!|
With three riders between my tests I wanted to just let P2 doze in the shade then wake her up with a few transitions right before our second ride, but she was having none of it. She was fussy and pawing and flipping her head around. To her credit, by the time we went back in the ring for our First Level 1 ride, I had been on her for over an hour (a record I think) and we haven't practiced much "standing around" then returning to work.
|Prairie wasn't even soothed by pats from The Boy..|
We entered.. nicely. We halted, well! (aside from needing to pop up and look at the woods). Our first trot sequence was not so bad - we got closer to the Judge's Booth and deeper into the far corner than in our first test. And even though Prairie felt waaaaaay out of control, our 10 meter half circle serpentine thingy was actually pretty accurate and supple. Then we had our first spook (arghhhh) which totally killed our balance and focus for our first diagonal and lengthened trot. I didn't even both asking because it felt like I already had a running, unbalanced mess under me... then we had spook numero dos. (terrifying horses on the hillside). My response to that was to circle (you may note that First 1 doesn't call for a canter circle at that moment). When we did return to the trot I hardly had a horse capable of her "stretchy" circle in front of the judge.. and she was in gallopy-gallopy-omg-monsters! mode anyway.
But I gave her a reassuring pet, got our walk transition (yay! brakes! they work again!) and
At that point I thought "damn," but I figured I could get our canter back in the next corner and complete our canter tour. Mare blew me off, and when she did get her canter I all I felt was "powder keg."
On the video she just looks fussy. But when you're on her, I swear it feels so big and so loose that I felt like she was about to bolt again hence (another) unplanned canter circle where our lengthened stride should be.
It was then (as I was making yet another error) that I excused myself as we trotted past the judge. It felt like one calamity after another. The judge gave me a quizzical look and a "but you're doing ok?" but I just felt like Prairie was winding up and not down - and I was pretty sure I wasn't going to get a productive "school" out of the rest of it.
That being said, in watching the video a few times I've realized a couple things -
- Aside from me piloting her into a few extra circles, her spooks in the far end were "better" than our first ride even if she wasn't focused enough for a good stretchy circle..
- When I excused myself I only had my left lead canter and one more trot lengthening left. Mind you, it involved a lot of cantering and another transition at the scary end of the ring and an attempt at my second trot lengthening, but still. I probably could have stuck it out. In my head I felt like I was at the start of my test... whoops :)
- It doesn't look that bad on tape. I know we weren't going to get high marks for submission or accuracy, but I can't over emphasize how exaggerated everything feels on her relative to how it looks on the ground. I need to get used to that, and defuse it instead of allowing it to continue.
Anyway, Judge for yourself. Here's the video of our aborted test. I particularly enjoy The Boy's comments that "I don't think Prairie is getting any treats after this...." LOL. He's so smart..
Because that's not very enjoyable to watch, here's a few more pictures from Supermom. I love her photos. Somehow she found some pretty good moments in the midst of the meltdowns. I would love to know what the hell I'm looking down at the whole ride. Look up! Look up!!!!!
|sit up! (but her forelimbs are so pretty..)|
|Done with the first ride|
|(mostly) well deserved pats|