Saturday, July 11, 2015

That Time I Showed Third Level, Take Two

As Aimee recently pointed out, I have not yet shared a photo tour of my astoundingly gorgeous new barn. So, while I enjoyed the hell out of my vacation away from typing and staring at the computer, I agreed it was probably time to get back to work, both blogging and job scouting...

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... 
My warm up was much like my second warm up the day before. Pig was behind my leg and behind my hand. Luckily, I had about 30 minutes before my ride time, so I could quietly get him a little more forward. He never felt "fixed" but he did feel better by the time I got into the ring.

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... 

Our entry scored a 7.5, amazingly. His halt was nice. The shoulder-in right scored a 6, with tension being noted. He's clearly against my hand and tight through his topline, though the shoulder-in angle does remain fairly steady. His neck is much too bent, though. He's escaping through the shoulder some. The judge remarked that our half pass left (6.5) showed good bend, but was flat. At least the haunches weren't trailing?

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...
Yeah. We brought home an almighty 3 on that train wreck. Deserved. The second change was an auto, and my holding him caused him to be late in front. Ugh. I hate auto changes. I let him have it because, whatever. That change was a 4. Everything after the first change was incredibly braced. It's obvious that I completely pissed him off with that and he just gave me the big middle finger for the last bit of the ride. He did give me a really good effort in the extended trot, but I failed to stick with him and he doesn't have the topline strength to really support the movement. Again, not his fault and I was happy.

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!"

Ha!


16 comments:

  1. Probably no help at all, but when I have a less than stellar ride on a test that's new for us, I try to think of what we did right. And sometimes, even if the movement gets a 4 or 5, I think, well at least Speedy DID the movement. And then I like to count how many points away from a 60% I might be - it's usually not very many. You were probably REALLY close. :0)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is absolutely help! My goal for the weekend was a 55% or above, so I managed that. Overall, I'm actually really happy with Pig's effort. When I watch the video, I see a lot to like and a horse and rider who are just very green to the level and the collection and connection required. It's all fixable, I think...

      Delete
  2. It sounds like the judge was pretty tough. Probably not unfair, just much more on the conservative side. At least it seems that she was consistently tough with everyone. Overall, you guys must have done a good job :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The judging was tough all weekend, or weird. Either tough or weird. Needless to say, I will not be discussing my second level test right now. ;)

      Delete
  3. That was a tough judge. I think was the test I pretty much slaughtered LOL. You guys are SO close to a 60. You are knockin on the door of that Bronze! Go PIggy Pig!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was so wrapped up in my own ride, I didn't get to catch yours! I wish the judging had been a little more forgiving that weekend. I know we did better on a couple of tests than we scored. Ah well. We'll get that bronze eventually!

      Delete
  4. congratulations! I would take it and run too. Years ago I showed Irish second level. We weren't ready to show at that level but I was bored with first. The judge gave us 57% and said, kindly, that she thought we weren't ready. I agreed but said it was a goal and i wanted to try. I'm glad that I did because Irish retired later that year with his spine issues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, this is a sweet story, and exactly why I went ahead and did Third. I will probably end up showing out here pretty soon, but I'm glad I did it anyway. :)

      Delete
  5. wooo hoooo take it and run indeed - looks like a lovely effort out there (and was it just me or was he really flicking those toes quite adorably across the last trot diagonal and up the center line???) and many congrats on the lovely placing in a competitive field! can't wait to meet Pig!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just a few days now, Emma. DAYS! ARE YOU READY?!

      Delete
  6. Hey that is still pretty impressive! I am getting anxiety even reading about your third level test lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! No anxiety allowed! It's just a test, not the end of the world. ;)

      Delete
  7. Judges were tough that weekend! Looks like you're full steam ahead on the right track and so close, it makes me feel like I'm off the path in the dark without a flashlight! Mikey's changes have improved some from last year, but his are no where near as quiet as yours are in the video, even with the little bobbles you had. Now I'm nervous for when I go out in August!

    Will you be showing at Morven 9/12-13? I know we have discussed if I'll be there, but what about you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Planning on showing, but hoping to get it done before September to qualify for End of Years with my old GMO.

      Delete
  8. Love your trainers comment ☺☺☺☺
    Congrats on the red *cheers*

    ReplyDelete