|As my pro photos are not ready yet, enjoy a multitude of photos of Pig wearing a pretty ribbon sprinkled throughout this post!|
|Click test photos to make larger.|
|Yes. I know. There was an error. No worries, though. Without it, I would still be in the 57% range.|
The shoulder-in right was nailed for too much neck bend, which is completely fair. We are bendier to the left. Renver was nailed for lacking bend and suppleness, which is probably completely true. I didn't school this movement enough in the warm up. Schooling this is 100% necessary. Renver was a co-efficient, so that hurt our score a bit. That said, the shoulder ins were the highlight of our trot work, other than the half passes.
|Skinny TB neck? My ass. That thing is a work of art. Can you believe this creature is 18?!|
Our walk work started gaining us points. Our first turn on the haunches scored a 7! Of course, the walk was largely commented as being "stiff". The rest of the walk work gained us 6s, which is really the minimum score I should be collecting there. I left too many points on the table by just not riding the snot out of those sections.
|"Please don't ride the snot out of me!"|
The other direction of canter half pass scored a 5.5, which I am sorely discouraged about, I know I lost my focus and didn't get enough jump or bend. It's a rough comment to get in the test, but fixable. After this. the canter starts picking up more points. We scored a 6.5 on our last change, which blows my mind after the trials and tribulations we've been through with that movement.
Of course right after the change, I lost my place in the test and forgot to the do the release of reins at the canter circle and went straight into the extended canter. I'm really bummed about this, because our change was so good that I had Pig totally set up for the circle, and I did an awesome lengthening that never got scored instead. As such, we got a 6 on the release of reins, but the comment doesn't give me a lot of guidance on how to improve the score. I think this judge just had our highest score set in her mind as a 6, so we had to work extremely hard to get anything higher. Bummer.
The second attempt at the extended canter scored a 6.5, but didn't feel as uphill at the first, unscored, attempt. Oops.
|These collectives kind of hurt.|
|Low score or not, I'm still proud of this, the most regal of beagles.|
|Yay bronze score!|
|I count one 8 and three 7's!|
|Hey! Another 8!|
While this judge had many of the same comments at the previous one ("more bend" being paramount), she seemed much more generous with the points. Her overall ranking of Pig's gaits as a 6.5 instead of a 6 demonstrates that right off. Of course, it also turns out that nailing my walk work is an important part of getting my scores in this test.
I like 3-1 because it doesn't start with a medium trot (I think it's the only test like that out there), and that helps us maintain a positive impression with a judge for longer. Our mediums are nonexistent at their worst, and irregular at their best. It's not what I like to lead with.
That said, we set a really great impression with our first centerline. Watching it on the video, I had to congratulate myself. It was super straight, and Pig happily walked into the halt. This is something I've been working on with Pig since last season ended, and I think it's really paying off. Every day we practice stepping into a halt and holding it squarely forward with a positive tension. In the past, we could halt fine, but Pig would rock back or rest a leg once stopped. It was sloppy and led to the second half of our centerline being wiggly and behind the leg. This centerline was great!
|When your horse is so over posing, but you demand a photo with his ears up...|
|Awkwardness. We're super great at it.|
The rest of the walk work was amazing. We scored an 8 on our first turn on the haunches, which I think is a personal record on that hateful movement. The two turns on the haunches happen to be coefficient scores on this test, which is the biggest reason my score is so high.
The canter work was fairly uneventful. The first change was a little late behind, garnering us a deserved 4. The second change was preceeded by me losing the haunches on the 10m circle, then Pig anticipated the change and we botched the whole thing pretty badly. This momentum carried us into the extension, which I thought was better, but the judge gave a 5. Most likely fully deserved.
Still, we recovered to march our way proudly straight up the centerline and into one of the best halts I've ever ridden for an 8. I am so proud.
I'm embedding the video below. Please try not to laugh too hard as my husband introduces my ride with a bit of superstition involving my black dog and some vomited up grass. He had no way of knowing this ride would be so good, so I am calling it a an extremely prescient intro. Ha!!
"Promising partnership-- develop suppleness and quality in all work-- movements will be easy! Good luck."