I regrouped my thoughts, rearranged my mind, and got back to business. Among the things I said aloud to Ransom, I remember muttering, "I don't know what that little disaster was, but please don't do it again. They're going to wonder what on earth we're doing here. I can't imagine how bad the scores were, but I can't help but wonder why you did that. Let's go try again, and show her how hard we've been working. C'mon buddy, let's go."
1. Enter working trot, halt at X, salute, proceed working trot
Take a deep breath, squeeze him with my legs, collect , wiggle wiggle hands, settle deep heavy sigh into the walk, step step, halt.
8 = square halt
2. Track right, circle 20m
Oh that's much better. There we go, wiggle wiggle, push with my legs, keep this forward motion. Smile at Jen calling the test, look into the last of the circle, look up & ahead.
6 = stride little short, nose behind vertical
Somewhere in the early parts of the test, a train came down the tracks. I had my back to it, and remember glancing up when we turned towards it, and getting right back to business. Ransom didn't even glance at it. Good Boy!
3. Change rein working trot KXM
Look way down the diagnoal.. Hey R! Hi sweetie! Smile! Okay, back to work, push forward on the trot, wiggle wiggle.. Oh this is much better than the last test. Canter's coming, half halt in the corner!
7 = brt hors? (It's hard to read)
4. Working canter left lead between C & H
Think into the corner, lean back, squeeze, don't you dare get that lead wrong again, buddy. Glance down, Got it! WaHoo! Wheeeee this is much better. Glance at the judge passing "C", she's smiling!!
5 = hollow; head high
5. E Circle Left 20m
Bend him through the circle, think, keep it round, wiggling my whole arms on the inside rein this time to keep the collection. Sit back on my hips, relax, don't push him!
8 = bal through & conn
6. Between E and K working trot
Heavy deep sigh back into trot. A little more tug on the reins than I'd like, but my back's to her, maybe she can't see it. yeah right. This lady rides Grand Prix. Of course she saw it! Wonder how she'll score me on that transition.
8 = giving nicely through top line
7. A medium walk
Heavy sigh, squeeze my knees, relax my butt... Oh wow, there's a pretty transition down to walk. Now I know for sure that wiggling my arms against his shoulders is the key to down transitions. That felt GOOOOD!
8 = bal
8. FXM Long free walk down the diagonal
Spread hands out, wiggle wiggle wiggle. His head's stretching down, he's taking good & big steps. Listen to Jen, Okay, I remember what's next. I've GOT to get this trot transition better than the other test. I've got to!
6 = good overstep some good stretch but rusty (hard to read again)
9. M-C Medium Walk
Wiggle, wiggle wiggle, gather up my reins, glance in the judge's general direction, Okay, I think that was good enough, trot circle's coming!
5 = severely curled
10. C Working Trot
Half halt, squeeze with my calves, lean back just a little bit. Oops, he's bent at the shoulders. Ew. That's ugly. Moving along, circle's up next.
5 = curled
11. Circle Left 20m
Look where you're going, wiggle whole arms with his shoulder movement, we're over half way through, and he feels good.
6 = stiffening first 1/2; better second 1/2
12. Change Rein working trot, down the diaganol
Look Down the diag, change posting, squeeze, keep his head down, wiggle wiggle, Hi Jen! There she is again! Hey we're almost done, and this is MUCH better!!!
7 = balanced through & conn; could cover more ground
13. Between C and M working canter right lead
Look ahead, lean back, squeeze. Okay, he popped his head, but we got the lead right. I'll take it.
5 = counter flexed, falling leaning in
14. B circle right 20m
That felt pretty good. Look through the circle, glanced out of the arena & saw another horse. Whooops. concentrate, nut! Wiggle my whole inside arm in the canter stride, now, one more down on the long, and we're almost outta here.
8 = balanced through + conn
15. Between "B" and "F" working trot
Down long side, whoops, heading away from her again, leaning on the reins, YUCK. Not real happy with it, but maybe she didn' tnotice. It was an easier transition than they've been at home, but I know we can do better.
8 = giving nicely through top line
16. Down "A" centerline, halt, salute.
Turn down the center, look up at the judge. Smile in satisfaction, I did it! We did better better. We gave it our best, and we'll take whatever she scores us. Wiggle my arms, settle my seat, reins against his shoulders, sigh, squeeze knees, walk, step step, HALT. Salute.
7 = No comments
Gaits = 5 no comments
Impulsion = 6 no comments
Submission = 6 no comments
Rider = 8 no comments
Talk about night and day?! I was beyond satisfied. I left the arena after Test 2 knowing we'd given it our best. Especially given the disaster Test 1 was, I was happily satisfied. I rode just out of the dressage markers, just to the side of the out gate, and immediately dismounted. That was just about enough for one day. I muttered to Ransom all the way back to the stall, "I don't know what that was for test 1, but you made it up to me. Cookies for all!"
Final Score - 187, 66.786% Second place of four.
My final thoughts tomorrow.. I hope everyone enjoyed this format, found it easy to read, and worthwhile. Those are my thoughts, combined with the judge's remarks. You can see in places they line up, and in others, I didn't feel what she saw. But enough for today... Good night everyone!