When I left this story last, I was feeling both heartened by our not-failure at 3rd and disappointed by the low score in 2-3. I wasn't sure what to expect on second day of the show. My 3rd test was early in the day, prior to 7am, so I was up early to fix braids and get to the ring.
|Look at this horse. Look at these braids. Ignore the fact that he peed in the middle of this field approximately 30 seconds after I snapped this...|
The test itself felt like a mixed bag. It didn't feel as nice as the test the day before, but some of the moments I had struggled with before were much better. Video...
After the left trot work, he seems much better in the contact. He's more through and collected, but the right half pass and shoulder-in scored a 6. I wish the judge had rewarded the outstanding half a 10m circle preceding the half pass, though.
The medium trot is iffy. He slips a little at the start, and despite my best efforts I fall behind the motion. That said, he still opened up his stride and kept pushing. I won't complain about the effort. We got a 5. Nailed it. (ha!)
The halt and rein back scored a 6. I love how he steps into the halt, even if he ends up kind of strung out weirdly. We still don't have those nice diagonal pairs in the rein back, probably because the aid still takes him by surprise. The judge noted the lack of diagonal, also the fact that we took about 1000 steps back instead of exactly 4. Whoops.
I felt the walk work was better than the day before, and the judge agreed. We scored mainly 6s, with a 6.5 thrown in for the first turn on the haunches. Pig's lack of forward discounted us, as did all of his bracing.
Unlike every other test in our life, we did not improve our score markedly in the canter work. The depart and first 10m circle was a 6, everything else was a 5 or below. Ouch. The first change was a serious dolphin moment...
|You're welcome for that bit of comedic relief...|
We walked away with a 57.121%. The collectives gave me a 7 on gaits (How could she tell?) and a 7 on rider position (What? How in the ... ?). Impulsion was a 5, and use of aids was a 5.5. Again, deserved.
I was pretty sure I had bombed that test completely, remarking to my trainer back at the barn "did you see that? No? Good. No one needed to see that." Only later while I was serving some time as a ring steward did my friend bring me up my test complete with a fancy red ribbon.
Yeah. We got second.
Out a big class.
With a 57.121. Holy. Crap.
My trainer's reaction? "Take it and run!"