The moral of the story is:
1. We're not going to embarrass ourselves.
2. We're going to get a lot of "more" marks: more stretch, more lengthening, and that's okay at this show. That's why we're here, to get an idea of what needs work before we show rated.
3. No question, we're showing the right level.
|World's most awkward cookie mugging photo|
I actually really like the "ice cream cones" (half 10m circles w/change of direction back to the rail at B and E respectively) that occur at the very beginning of 1-1. Nothing like a 10m circle requiring a lot of bend to get me properly preparing Connor, and Connor listening to me. In fact, my trainer couldn't contain the surprised sound in her voice when we totally nailed them the first time we did them last night.
|Ice cream cone #1. Rinse repeat on the other side.|
Our biggest challenges in 1-1 are going to be the stretchy circle right after the ice cream cones at the very beginning of the test, and bringing him back down to a working canter after the canter lengthenings without breaking. Pony has an 'up' gear, but the 'down' gear needs work. Fortunately, we are provided with a 15m circle immediately after the lengthening in both directions to use to help shorten the stride, thanks USDF! It specifically says "develop working canter in first half of circle". That's a gift.
|...followed by a delightful brake assist.|
But other than that and my mild nervousness about showing in the big ring after only ever schooling in the small ring (SO MANY LETTERS), I'm totally content with the test and our ride.
First is a bit of a reach in the sense that we won't completely kill it like we generally always do in the USEA BN-B test, but that's a good thing. It's going to force me to be more accurate, prepare earlier, and just generally make my rides GOOD instead of passable.