I got up super early to clean stall before hand (I don't think I've slept more than 6 hours per night for the past week... I'm exhausted). Luckily Jetta's braids stayed in overnight and I only had to redo one braid. We got to the show and had time to chill for a bit and make sure I had my first test - Training Test 3 - memorized.
Jetta warmed up really well actually. I didn't put on my spurs, just carried my whip for the warm up. She was still not quite carrying herself as lightly as I'd like, but she was a lot better than the day before, she was bending nicely and listening to my leg.
We headed to the competition ring and the test went ok. Jetta was really heavy in my hand and I didn't do a very good job of getting her off the forehand. We ended up scoring a 64% - our last two shows were about a 65.8% just to put that in perspective, so we didn't do as well as we had been doing in the past. Our final comment was "Attractive pair. Rider sits right and must stretch up. Horse must stretch out to hand." Bummer.
|Just waitin' around|
We had a loooong break in between the two classes. Jetta finished up her hay and I took my chair out in a grassy area and sat and let her graze. In the continuing theme of a lack of preparation, we had never looked or schooled the First Level Test 3 and it was full of surprises... I knew the leg yields so that wasn't an issue. The 10 meter trot circles were fine (it's the half circles that we have issues with!) but then there was a change of lead through the trot at X. Huh, hopefully that goes well... Then there were the "counter canter" loops. Oh, yeah, we used to do those. Haven't done those in a while.
Put my spurs on, warmed up ok. It was a little hectic feeling but we can do all the movements just fine. The problem is putting them all together into a fluid test. The hectic feeling went into the test and it basically just sucked. Jetta was so, so heavy in my hands and no matter how many half halts I gave her she would not stop pulling. There was basically no redeeming elements to the test. I didn't like any of our movements, though maybe the stretchy trot was ok. I didn't let her stretch as much in order to maintain some semblance of control of our tempo, so it was a sacrifice between stretch vs steady tempo and we actually scored better doing that sacrifice.
I was fully expecting a 50% score. I was going to be really embarrassed since I haven't gotten a 50 in FOREVER, not since I was first starting out with Jazz. Amazingly, we got a 62.419%. Well that was surprising... I felt like we were definitely not ready to do First 3. First 2 was ok and I'd like to start showing that for the rest of the summer, but we're not quite there yet for the third test.
The show office was pretty disorganized today so I never saw the class scores overall, but we must have placed quite well, at least second because after placing fourth the day before, we ended up with a 3rd place in First Level out of five, and a 3rd place in Training Level out of 6.
Not too shabby for such little preparation, if we had actually prepared we might have done a lot better. We have a lot of work to do before our next show. I have decided not to enter the big recognized show that I've been looking forward to for years... That will have to wait until next year. I just don't think we'll be ready by the end of July to do well at a recognized show. There's a smaller one in August that I think we'll try to shoot for instead or just put the whole goal off for another year.
I did get videos and they took pictures with our GIANT ribbons (they're super, super long!) so I'm hoping that they'll send those out possibly? I will upload at least the Training 3 test for your viewing (dis)pleasure but I might not upload the First Level tests... they're bad. Well, maybe the First 2 isn't that bad. We'll see :)