Finally some nice weather. I definitely took advantage of it. I remembered to print out my dressage tests and take them with me to the barn. After warming PJ up, I walked through the first test on a loose rein to give him a break and for me to figure out where I needed to go.
I set it up just like if we were at a show by trotting around the perimeter of the ring, which turned out to be more like a show than I thought it would be because PJ wasn’t used to riding on the edge and was a little nervous about it. But as soon as we turned up the center line, he put it into gear. Our first canter depart was when I asked. For the second one I got distracted. I had to go around again and try it over. This time it was better.
Then I pulled out the second test and walked that one. When I picked up the reins to try to actually ride the test I could tell PJ was tired. But this was one time I thought I should push him a little. We hadn’t done that much work and I didn’t want to end our ride on a free walk. As I start to trot him around the perimeter, PJ sees a new plank jump and slams on the breaks. Worse, he stars to back up but there is a cliff right there, so I stopped trying to push him forward and let him take a look at it. He sniffed it and pushed it with his nose. He was still suspicious of it but went forward. Then he was looking everywhere for something to spook at. I told him if he had enough energy to spook, he had enough energy to ride through the test. However, when he entered at A, he was a little sluggish. Neither canter depart was great. But for our first time riding these tests, I thought they were pretty good.
Overall, I need to ride the horse more throughout the test. Especially during the second test, I only half-halted and tried to change his gait before turns or changes of gaits. He was going along nicely, but I need to be more in control of his way of going. Horse show here we come!