So today actually wasn't that bad. I was expecting a whole lot worse, haha. I acheived all of my goals!
- We stayed in the arena. Probably helped along by the fact that Jetta was a little scared of the letters!
- I didn't get any comments about keeping my shoulders back
- We got a 7 and, drumroll please... an 8 on our free walk!! And, I forgot to write this goal down:
- We didn't get a bazillion comments about being "counter positioned" which I think is one of Kathy Casey's pet peeves.
Here's a breakdown of our rides.
Training Test 1
We placed second out of five JR/YR! Not half bad :) I was fully expecting to get 50% scores and a last place, so this went beyond what I was expecting. We got all 6's and 7's on the movements, save a 5 on our stretchy trot circle because Jetta didn't stretch and instead got too speedy. We got only two "counter positioned" comments in our working trot and circle. On our collective marks we got all 6's and two 7's - one for impulsion, though she commented that she needed to carry a little more weight on her haunches, and a 7 on harmony. She also commented that Jetta needs to improve her balance. Not too bad! Riding the test, Jetta felt very stiff and heavy in my hands. She was a little speedy, but not as bad as I know that she can be, and our trot-canter transitions were a heck of a lot better than they've been at home. Our downward transitions, though we had no comments on them, were really rough and I had to use way too much rein to bring her down, so that is definitely something we need to work on. We got a 63.75%
Training Test 2
This test felt a lot better than the previous one. I really focused on getting her to bend to the inside and give to the bit. We warmed up with a lot of stretching in the walk to get her to relax. We placed 3rd out of four JR/YR. This test was a little more all over the place. We had mostly 6's and some 7's. We got a 4 on our stretchy trot, sigh... Again, the same problem with speeding up too much and not stretching. We also got a 5 on our trot circle because she was a little too eager and broke into a canter for a stride. And an 8 on our free walk! This just made my day :] I was really pushing her to get into a nice rhythm and she really stretched for the whole movement. Good girl! We got all 6's on collective marks, with comments for me to look up (duh! that should be automatic for me by now, sigh) and that we need to work on slowing down and coming over the back in order to get our stretchy trot circle. And we got no comments about being counter positioned! We got a score of 61.79%
So, here's what we need to work on:
- Downward transitions - I do not want, and should not have to pull so much on the reins.
- Straightness when we enter the ring and halt at X. While there were no comments on this, she sure felt wiggly! But on the plus side, Jetta did very well on halting and standing still and we had at least one awesome square halt.
- Steadiness in the bridle. She was fussing with the contact quite a bit.
- Yielding to my inside leg. While she was pretty good, I want her to be a little more attentive to my leg so her shoulder doesn't fall to the inside.
- And lastly, the dreaded stretchy trot. She was doing so good! But I think the pressure and stuff going on around her made her lose focus and she was going much too fast to get a good stretch going.