What a hot weekend at Seneca Valley! I rode dressage at 2:3o in the afternoon. Oh So warmed up well. I was able to play with some half-pass and leg yield in walk. The ring steward said I could go early, so she sent me over to my ring, but the judge wasn’t there. He started to “grow” a little as we trotted towards the ring, so luckily, I had some time to circle and get him back. We ended up going at our scheduled time, so I had about 10 minutes to just circle near the ring, which really helped. It also helped that they were not running cross country when I rode my test! That’s the one thing I fear about going to Seneca. The cross country runs right by the dressage rings.
The test was very good for this point in his training. We avoided a head flip by doing the right canter transition a little early. We got marked down a point for that, but it helped saved the right canter circle, so it was worth it. I was conservative with the trot lengthenings, but his stretchy trot circle was very good. He got a 36.4. I thought we’d do better, but we got mostly 6’s and 7’s and one 5. We were fourth after dressage.
The stadium course was kind of funky, and we had one rail. It was my fault. It was off a tight left turn to an oxer/vertical combination. I stalled off the turn a bit, so he hit the rail with a front toe in the air. There was also a liverpool option, and the line rode better than the square oxer up a slight hill did. So we tried it, and he was fine. I rode a bit backwards, but he didn’t even peek.
On cross country, I thought I rode terribly again. I was getting some shorter or longer spots, but not many good ones. He was a trooper though, and didn’t care, which is what we want for now. He leaped off the bank again. That’s something we really need to work on at home. In the throws of competition, we usually don’t have the same mindset as we do schooling, and I need to try to change that.
There was a turning combination of spooky tables. I think I needed to be looking sooner in the air over the first one, because I had to take some left rein to show him where we were going.
I wasn’t completely satisfied with how we negotiated the log into water. I think I came at it a little slow. He jumped down it, but his hind legs landed pretty quickly after. He did the coffin the woods well, and we finished with 13 time penalties. I think I was worried about running him out of his own balance like I did last week at the beginning of the course. But this week, I needed to be moving a bit. A lot of people had time faults though.
We actually ended up fourth overall, which was surprising to me. But almost every training rider all day had a rail or time faults on cross country.
So, now we’re on a bit of a break. When we go schooling next, we’re going to work on galloping at training speed and definitely step off some banks quietly.
I’m taking Sam to a show this weekend to try 1st level. It’s supposed to be 90 degrees again. Surprise, surprise!