Test….This is Only a Test

I rode through my training level test #3 at the end of my lesson today.  It went okay. Just okay.  Almost missed the canter departs – the first one I just wasn’t paying as much attention as I should; I didn’t half halt enough before coming into the turn, so he didn’t go forward and we didn’t get the depart.  The second one was better but not good enough for me.  We also cut our corners a little more than I wanted to.  One minute we are going fine and then he leans on my inside leg just before the turn and can’t get deep into the corner.  He was also a little sluggish until the last down the centerline.  He jigged once during the free walk. I lost a little contact during the stretchy circle. I can go on but I’m nitpicking.

On the plus side, he didn’t break from the canter to trot until I asked him to.  My circles were round. Our centerlines were straight.  He stopped relatively square.

It’s so much easier to just ride around and pick up the canter when we feel ready instead of having to ride to the letters.  I do like both TL tests.  TL #2 is a great test for PJ because of the diagonals – he knows to go forward, which helps with the canter departs that are both immediately after the diagonals.  I like the shallow serpentines in the TL #3 test because it allows you to half-halt: I change posting diagonals when I change bends and that serves as a subtle half-halt.

I have the basics down (other than canter departs) and just need to refine everything.  I wanted my first show to be April 1 but I forgot about scheduling a coggins and don’t know if it can be done in time – waiting for a call back from my vet.  A lot of my weekends are booked so finding schooling show before the big recognized show is looking difficult.  Regardless, I’m going to keep working on improving my rides and practicing my tests or at least pieces of my test every day.

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