Hah. Remember that last post I wrote about how amazing Jetta is and how ready we are to try Second Level? Hahahaha. Yeah, we won't be ready for a while.
I think I mentioned that it would be "fairly straightforward" since we were only doing First 1 and 2. Nothing is straightforward when you're riding a horse that sometimes becomes a Fire Breathing Dragon.
As soon as I got on Jetta I could tell that she was a little fireball. After only one lap, I tossed my whip away as I was attempting to get some semblance of control and softness. There was pretty much none to be had. Luckily I got on early so I could spend a long time warming up. Lots and lots of transitions and if she got too heavy then she'd have to stop and back up. Basically Jetta was convinced that there should be jumps out and that she should get to go fast and jump things!
It helped a bit until we went in the show arena and all that we worked on kinda went out the window. Jetta was heavy, heavy, at times pulling me forward out of the saddle, especially in the downward transitions. The lengthenings were awful because she was suuuper excited about them, but then she wouldn't come back to a working trot/canter.
It was rough. I came out of the ring pretty disappointed, convinced that we had scored a 50% and placed last. I went back to the stall for a minute to drink some water and let Jetta get a bite or drink of water, then got back on and went right back to riding.
I decided that we'd be more conservative with our lengthenings so I wouldn't have as much of a problem bringing her back down. We worked a lot on the canter-trot transition. Luckily we got to ride in the show arena during a break and I think that helped a lot. I was pretty exhausted with how hot out it was but Jetta was still ready to go (dragons scoff at your lack of heat tolerance!).
The second test went a lot better. I was much less disappointed when I came out of the ring. It was nice that the 15m canter circles were before the canter lengthening because then I could do a nice, balanced circle without trying my hardest to multitask and get my freight train of a horse back to a more collected canter. I was also much better about sitting back in this test. My mantra the whole day was "sit your butt down" (both me and the horse) because if I'm sitting back then I can help get Jetta to travel more uphill too, it's just something I have a hard time doing on her.
Our test was a lot smoother. I cooled out and watched a couple tests then went and untacked, rinsed Jetta and my poor ruined saddle pad that got soaked with sweat and stained by my saddle/half pad/horse.
Much to my surprise we didn't place last... in fact, we placed second in both classes out of 5, with the winner being a trainer I know. I was kind of blown away since I watched a couple other riders and they had WAY better tests than mine. One girl was riding a cute little chestnut QH and they had a great test. Her horse was very obedient and soft, her geometry was spot on, etc. I'm pretty sure she placed dead last.
|All of the red|
We got a 64% for First 1 and a 67% for First 2. I couldn't believe it. Especially when I rode Misty under this same judge and had way, way better rides and we pulled off 59%. I hate to be that person, but I honestly think this judge just doesn't like stock horses. The first place rider had a WB, then me on my TB and then the remaining 3 riders were QH and QH/crosses and I really think one or two had a much better ride than I did. I mean, I can't really complain since I don't mind placing well, but still. So weird.
Our first test had mostly 6's, with an 8 for our free walk, 7's for our left lead lengthened canter and transitions back to working canter and trot, another 7 for our right lead canter to trot transition and a 7 for our final halt. The final comments were "Try to keep shoulders back to support the [can't read word] work. Try to support more with legs especially in transitions. Well done, a good starts at first level."
The second test had a lot more 7's and 8's. An 8 for our first halt, a 7 for our first 10 meter half circle, a 7 for our trot/walk transition, an 8.5 for our free walk, an 8 for our 15m canter circle left, a couple of 7's for our transition back to working canter and change rein to trot, a 7.5 for the trot-canter transition, a 7 for our working canter transition and a lot more 7's in our collective marks. She really didn't like our lengthenings this round, saying they were too conservative but I really did like actually having control of my horse, so I'll take it! Final comment was "Very willing horse - shows lovely moments but not quite confirmed in his connection."
Overall a very interesting jump back into competing with Jetta!