Sooooo I finally sat down and looked at Training Level Test 3 a little bit more closely…the coefficients are again on the free walk and stretch down trot (shocking), but there are also coefficients for the canter transitions. Hmm, that could be a good thing for us IF we are having a good day, and the planets align, I remember to breathe, and we can keep Ike focused.
Test 2 has coefficients on the canter circles and we tend to get a bit strung out and one the forehand by the last quarter of the circle, and of course, our marks reflect that fact. It is a double whammy when the scorer doubles that tiny number. When Ike and I are in sync, we tend to get higher marks on the canter transitions than the circles. I must emphasize the “when,” since if you have kept up with our progress, you are well aware that in an instant Ike can shift his weight to that outside hind leg and (boom) we score a 4 for that right lead transition since Ike picked up the left lead. Ah the struggles of a young, big boy.
Ike has been full of himself in the morning and has been demonstrating his gallop stride regularly. I don’t recall seeing that as a movement in the Training Level tests. Ike and I struggled through our lesson with Ms. C. We rode pieces and parts of our two tests, and then Ms. C would ask, “So what did you think of that work?” Ugh, do I pretend that we are the best thing since sliced bread or admit that I know the work was not up to par? The little Catholic girl in me decided that I’d better confess the truth. The work was 5.5 to 6.0 work at best. Ms. C concurred. It took us a good 30 minutes before we found a steady connection and rhythm. Lots of quick walk/trot transitions with constant half halts while in sit trot finally helped us click. Why did it take so long? Ike isn’t sharing that detail.
Tomorrow shall be a day off for Ike, but we will spend some time tidying the wild whiskers and unruly mane. Guess I’d better load the rubber boots and rain gear as well…