Wednesday, August 15, 2012

First Level 2 - 62 %

As frustrated as I was after our first ride on Sunday, I was hoping that our second go would see some increased relaxation since the totally terrifying cones did not, in fact present any real threat in the first test.

I was... mostly right.  We were by no means relaxed.  But we did eliminate any major spooks and anything that warranted a dreaded "3."  In fact we only got one 4 (when we broke stride).  So that's a win.  Also similar to our July outing, our collective marks all ticked up a bit for our second test. 

(forgive the rough, boring summaries, but it's about as much brain power as I currently have..)

Our opening halt was a 7 (over a 6) as was our opening lengthening.  Having a slightly more relaxed horse I mentally decided to "under ride" the second test and go for a better balance.  The theory wasn't perfect, but it wasn't bad.

Prairie sorta bobbled away from my outside rein before our 1/2 circle and leg yield which left us unbalanced and the leg yield sorta faltered.  The angle on the video makes it look worse than it was, but I lost the outside shoulder and our straightness.  At least she was moving off my leg!  (we got 6.5's for the turn and the leg yield)

Canter transition was a 6 and "strung out"
But our 15 meter circle was a 7!! a 7! Previous scores at 15m include a 4, 5, and two 6's.  so I was happy.  plus the comment said "fair bal" which is way better than "horrid"

I chose to under ride the canter lengthening, and got a 5.5 with "minimal difference" so boo on that. and a 5 for the transition back to working canter for "min transition."  Given the coefficients that stung our overall score quite a bit.

Then it was a 6 on the free walk.  She felt a bit scattered so I held my reins a bit more than normal, and the comments dinged us for it.  I need to school this with P2 a bit more.  When I give her head entirely she thinks she's on a break and looks around and swings her brontosaurus neck around, which isn't great either.

a 6 for our trot transition because we got a bit braced and a 6 for our stretchy trot (dangit!) since the second half of the circle was less than stellar.

Theeeeeen it was our "4" movement.  Trying to balance a bit better for the 1/2 circle and following leg yield, I really supported the mare with my outside leg and she turned beautifully... then cantered.

Whoopsie.  At least she was listening?

Regardless of the canter steps, we were set up much better for the leg yield and snagged a 7.5 and a smiley face in the comments.
I'm proud of this.  I'm mostly straight and P2 was right there for me.
Canter transition was a 6, the circle was another 7!!!!!! but the non-existant lengthening (again) was a 5.5 and a 5.  Argh. At least I know I proactively chose those scores (sorta).

But we finished the ride with a 6.5 transition back to the trot, a 7 trot lengthening and a 7 halt.

Collective Marks
Gaits                             8
Submission                   7
Rider's Seat                 6
Rider's use of Aids      6
Harmony                     5.5

Overall comments were "lovely horse with scopey gaits. Quite heavy in hand today"

Couldn't agree more.

Here's the video since my play by play skills aren't exactly... illustrative.


  1. Just wanted to comment and say that while I stay pretty quiet, I enjoy the breakdown on your individual tests and scores. Thank you for posting these. Of course I love photos and video too :)

    1. oh good! I sorta assume they are totally, completely boring to everyone else, but it's a good exercise for me to review and digest our ride. You can count on them continuing!

  2. Nope not boring or useless at all!!

    This test was MUCH better!!! She was a lot less fussy. You know.... I was thinking.... since she always seems to do better in her second test have you thought about doing a thorough warmup about an hour before her test, then let her rest until just before? Then it would sort of be like getting the first test out of the way in warm up and then your first actual test will feel like the second to her? Am I making any sense??

    I loved the second leg yield! Beautiful! It's too bad about the canter stride, but you're right that it was a sign she was listening at least. :D

    This is making me wish I could take lessons again. I miss it! Thank you for sharing. It's so much fun to watch/read.


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