Our Second Level debut

I was up bright and early on Sunday morning to head down the road to Broadview Farm in Woodford, Va. for a VADA Fredericksburg chapter dressage schooling show. My dressage trainer was there, so I was happy to have someone warm me up, since it’s been quite awhile. Unfortunately she also had other students with times very close to me, so she had to split her attentions and wasn’t able to see my second level test.

We went with a shorter warmup, about 35 minutes, and I think he was ok with that. We did First Level test 3 first and I thought it was quite steady. I felt a little backed off by the arena size since I’ve been working in the small ring for so long. The only thing we really needed to work on was our ten-meter circle figure eight at X. It comes up really fast with the leg yields. As usual, I could have gone a bit more in the canter lengthenings and his final halt was a bit crooked, but we ended up with a 69%.

We had a short gap in between tests, so I went back to the warm up to school a few rein backs and medium trot sittings. He felt about the same in Second Level test 1 even though it was a bit more complicated. Our left shoulder in needs some work, and I knew going into it that the rein back was not perfect. He thought we were supposed to trot off afterwards even though I’ve been practicing it both ways. The walk-canter transitions are more confirmed then the canter-walk ones and he scored respectively on those. We got quite a few 8s on our counter canter work, which he finds very easy. The medium trot sitting is tough for me because I get tight in my hips, so I knew I’d be conservative with those.

We ended up with a 67%, which is great. I was hoping to be get at least a 65% on both tests, so we exceeded my expectations. I was glad to get in the ring and do two tests back to back because he’s been getting a little too comfortable with the idea that it’s one dressage test then FUN!

We’re going to try Second 1 and 2 in July at the CDCTA evening schooling show in Warrenton. Right now it’s starting to get pretty hot and I think we both need a bit of a mental break. I’m planning on cross-country schooling at Surefire on Sunday but the forecast looks like it’s going to be about 97 degrees, so that plan may change.

At my jump lesson last week we tried a Micklem bridle that I’m testing for COTH and it seemed to reduce his head flipping a bit. I think it helps that the bit can’t slide through his mouth. We’ll see how it feels after a few more rides.

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