Loch Moy II Recap: The What Was She Smoking Edition
|That wild eye of his cracks me up every time.|
In what is becoming a clear pattern, Pig showed up for day two of a show in a rather cranky mood. He had ideas for how his day was gonna go, and riding 4-1 in front of a judge was definitely not on his agenda.
|Sorry, bro. Sometimes you just gotta do the job.|
I ended up getting after Pig in the warm-up for his lack of a half halt, which may have been a dumb choice. He shut down a bit behind, throwing his haunches against my leg and blowing through my aids from my seat.
|No! I said put your butt to the right!|
|Remember, Austen. The horse is supposed to pirouette. You are not supposed to do it without him. Sigh.|
|Va-VOOM goes the Ferrari|
|Though, we did have some really nice moments.|
However, the judge awaited. So we entered...
|A: Enter collected canter / X: Halt, salute; proceed collected trot|
"Rider sitting to right. Be prompt in trot."
|C: Track left / H-X-F: Change rein, medium trot / Over X: 6-7 steps collected trot / F: Collected trot|
"Show more clarity in trans"
Unfortunately, I was still dealing with a very hot horse who was behind the hand. I was also still sure he was not listening to my lateral aids. When it came time to ask him to half pass, I jabbed him with my outside leg. Dear sweet soul, he got confused and thought I was asking him to canter (I knew all that warm up canter was a bad idea!). Whoops! We resolved the issue and put together a half pass of sorts.
|K-X: Half pass right|
In the chaos of the canter snafu, I totally lost Pig's haunches. They went careening into the center of the ring, and made it very hard to get the shoulders out in front. I hate screwing up one of our strongest movements like that, but I put it behind me and worked to improve the rest of the right hand trot work.
|X: Circle right 10m|
"Lacking suppleness and impulsion"
Halfway through the 10m circle, I felt Pig had forgiven me some for my over-aid of the half pass. That allowed me to actually ride the shoulder-in some.
|X-G: Shoulder-in right / C: Track right|
I'm not sure what the judge is smoking here, as I don't feel this shoulder-in angle is quite right or consistent. Still, it's a nice shoulder-in right for us, and I'll always take a 7!
We came into the extended trot. I was resolved to push a bit and try to get Pig more in my rein and in front of my leg. I was actually pretty pleased with the result, though I didn't manage to get him in my rein at all (note how floppy it is?).
|M-X-K: Change rein, extended trot / K: Collected trot|
(Transitions M & K)
At this point in reviewing the scoring, I'm beginning to be certain the judge is on drugs. There's no way my medium got a 7, and my extended is a 4. They're basically the same. Plus, the transitions were behind the rein, but I don't think they were worthy of a 4.
Moving on to the left rein...
|F-X: Half pass left|
"Haunches should stay with forehand"
Okay, now I have no idea what she means. I think she's commenting about the moment just before this gif where his haunches get stuck for a step. We resolved it in a moment, however. I'm so confused by the scoring, but really happy with my riding of this movement.
|X: 10m circle left|
No, no, no. I want a comment here. Please and thank you.
|X-G: Shoulder-in left / C: Track left|
"Horse not uphill - heavy on R shoulder"
Okay. You have got to be fucking kidding me. That is NOT a shoulder-in worth a 4. In no world. Her comment is correct in that he is heavy on his right shoulder. However, he's been heavy on his right shoulder the whole test, and he's still pushing correctly with his left hind and maintaining angle and bend. Clearly the judge's drugs have gone bad.
|H: Collected walk / S-R: Half circle 20m extended walk / R: Collected walk|
"Step forward into walk and more ground cover in extended"
Now I'm just defensive. That score is rather low, but he is tight in his back and not stepping through as nicely as he is capable.
|Between G & M: Half pirouette left, proceed collected walk|
Huh? I literally do not understand this comment. I would have accepted "loss of rhythm" or "slightly wide" or "too much neck bend" or "lost outside shoulder". But "show collection"? Would she rather he have reared? Cause, like, we can do that.
I am beginning to think that maybe this judge was expecting a grand prix ride for her 4-1 class. How disappointing for her to get a green 4th level pair.
|Between G & M: Half pirouette right, proceed collected walk|
"Too much lateral effort, no collection"
Okay, in her defense. This pirouette was a hot mess. I mean, my horse is so stuck in his right front that he looks lame. She's right, there's not a lot of collection here. I dunno that it's a 4, but it's not great.
|(Collected walk) HS/RMG(H)G|
Really? That's a 4 walk? Really? "Not engaged"? Again. This is 4th level, not Grand Prix. Could he be more engaged, absolutely. Is it "insufficient"? No. Absolutely not. I've literally never had a judge hate on Pig's walk so much. She scored it as if it was horribly off rhythm. I don't understand.
Ah well. I think I rode it pretty well considering Pig's mood and our contact issues. On to the canter.
|G: Collected canter, left lead / H: Turn left|
Wow. Now this I think was maybe worth a 4 or 5. The transition is against the hand, flat, and could be more clear. To be fair, it's not too far off many of our other transitions. However, it's not great. Thanks for the 6, lady.
|S-K: Medium canter / K: Collected canter|
I talked in my Loch Moy I recap about how hard this movement is to get started. I thought he had quite a bit of polite uphill action from him, despite the waggling head indicating he's not really in my hands.
|A: Down centerline / D-E: Half pass left|
"Haunches trailing & head nodding"
That head nodding is going to get her soon, I just know it. Haunches trailed to start, but were corrected. Sloppy riding on my part.
Bring on the fireworks...
|E-H: Counter canter / H: Flying change of lead|
"Above bit - swinging head"
Let's also mention a bit like watching a horse dive into a pool, oh, and I lost his haunches right too. Not lovely, but not our worst. He actually wasn't anticipating, and I had to cue him quite hard. (Watch my right leg). Pretty sure he did not forgive me for being so obvious.
|M-F: Extended canter / F: Collected canter|
Can we talk about happy I am with this extended canter effort? He's not in my rein, but I'm still able to keep him from totally diving down and galloping. It's a clear canter with some lift and reach in the front end. Holy cow. Miracles do happen. The judging is on point compared to the medium canter, too. Color me impressed.
|(Transitions M & F)|
Awwww yeah! Did not completely biff this transition! Someone pop open the goddamn champagne!
|A: Down centerline / D-B: Half pass right|
Oh! Oh, I get it now. She wants me to be literally all over the place. Oh. Okay. We can do that...
|B-M: Counter canter / M: Flying change of lead|
No kidding "not correct." I was almost ejected from the goddamn ring. Come on, Austen. Only a few more movements to survive the test. You gotta hold on!
Note: Pig had definitely not forgiven me for the over-aiding of the last change. Whoops.
|C: Circle left 20m, 5-6 strides of very collected canter between quarterlines|
"Hollow in collection"
Please note my extreme lack of half halt here. I asked, but Pig blew through my requests to sit. Finally I just sat him down. He did not appreciate.
Only the line of changes to go, Piggy. You can do it. Maybe?
|H-X-F: Change rein, three single flying changes of lead, near first quarterline, near X, and near last quarterline|
Yeah. Uh. Deserved. Watch the video below to see what I mean...
See, we got the first one (though super crooked and ugly), then I got no response for the 2nd. Watch carefully and see Pig actually leap up into the air as if he is going to do the change, only to come down on the same lead.
This makes twice in the same weekend we failed to execute this movement at all. Clearly it's super broken and needs work.
|A: Down centerline / X: Halt, salute|
Crooked in halt
Sigh. He stepped out in the halt. That hurts, as the centerline was beautiful.
|Look, mom! I remembered not to salute with my whip in my hand!|
Click for full test video
Then I picked up my 50% score sheet.
|Too many errors? There was some sloppy riding in places, but the only real errors were in that last line of changes. I wish she'd just come right out and said "You suck, get out of this level." It's clearly what she meant.|