I'll write this up in bits & pieces. I forgot my tests at home, so I'll add judge's score & comments later on. For now, at least, please savor my memories of how the tests went, written just like those from the Oct 25th show.
1. Enter working trot, halt at X, salute, proceed working trot
We're going to head left, so let's circle on the left diagonal going in. EEK. That judge ain't smiling. She's scowling. Oh boy... Just grin at her & let's DO THIS!
7 = fairly straight
2. Track left, circle 20m
Left, yeah, left, we're going left. Hey, Ransom, I guess it'd help if I LOOK LEFT! Sorry, buddy, we lost a little forward movement there, didn't we. Sorry, man.
6 = needs btr bal @ "C"; circle t/b rounder
3. Working canter left lead between K & A
Oh Don't you DARE do what you did last month. Sit DEEP, squeeze those butt muscles, and give it to me, you super horse!
6 = a bit tense
4. B Circle Left 20m
Wheee! Look for the circle, look at the letters, smile at the judge, smile at R holding the camera. Oh this is MUCH better than last month!
5 = circle t/b rounder; counterflexed
5. Between centerline and B working trot
Heavy sigh, sit deep, try to relax my rear end, oops. Can't seem to relax my legs... Wiggle the reins down to a trot ...
6 = needs prep & bal
6. C medium walk
Yes, walk AT the letter. Got it this time. I can feel those judge-beady eyes looking RIGHT at me, yup, there she is. *siiiiiiiiiggggggggh* into the walk. Good job, mister!
6 = careful not to pull rein
7. Long free walk down the diagonal
Spread hands, wiggle, wiggle, Oop. he wants to break to trot. Don't do that, Ransom! Hold on. Oh my... it's MY FAULT. I'm holding on with my butt. Okay, relax my thighs, left, right, and r-e-l-a-x my butt. There it is. Let's try to not hold on with the hiney again in the ride. No wonder he felt so darn tense.
4 = horse to stretch down & out; allow w/rein. head wagging, none seen (?)
8. "A" working trot
Half-Halt, squeeze, Nice job hon. A little more head goings than I'd like, but at least I'm relaxed now. So sorry I didn't realize it before now.
6 = a bit hurried
9. Circle Right 20m
Look at the circle, look at the direction, relax my seat, add a little leg. Whowee! He's really going somewhere today! This trot is tons better than last month!
6 = tense short steps. needs ground covering strides
10. Working canter right lead in the corner
Okay, one lead down, one to go. We're almost done, Ransom. Lean back, sit deep, squeeze, PEEK, yup. got this lead, too! Yay!
7 = obedient
11. "B" circle right 20m
Look at the circle, look where I'm going, wiggle wiggle the hands, get off the forehand, Ransom. Tug tug TUG, there, now he's carrying himself. Ooop.. Squeeze the knees he's flying around the circle. Jumper dude! =)
6 = needs better bal
12. Between centerline and "B" working trot
Settle, *heavy sigh*, squeeze the knees again, settle down, tug the reins, there... easy into the trot, sweet!
6 = needs fwd thinking
13. Down "A" centerline, halt, salute.
We're nearly done. It's almost over. Wow that was a helluva lot better than last month. Ain't perfect, we've got much to do. I've got to learn to let this first test look effortless to the judge. Oh my, she STILL ain't smiling. Settle into the halt... Salute. OH! There! She's smiling now! My goodness... is that a forced smile she just gave me?! Who knows... But it's over.
7 = overshot ctr. halt fairly straight
Gaits = 6
Impulsion = 6
Submission = 6
Rider = 6
Attractive pair! Horse needs better relaxation in back & ground covering stride.
As I left the arena, I could still feel my legs tight. I relaxed them, peered over at Jen, who asked me, "It was better, right? Pat him, tell him Good Boy, something?! You did great! That looked awesome!"
At that moment, it settled in my brain. Our test was amazing. Much Much better than the last show, and in fact, it felt better than the TL#2 from the last show as well. He was really moving forward, he didn't toss his head all over the place, and he also wasn't leaning on my hands as much. I got just out of the arena, got ready to hop off, and Jen said, "Nope. Let's walk him over to the big uncovered arena, out by yourself, and walk him out a bit. There's a few rides in between this one and the next. Let's keep him moving."