With a ride time of 11:41am, I thought I'd get on a few minutes after 11. In the event Connor came out breathing fire like at Majestic, I would need time to chill him out. My trainer explicitly told me not to encourage him to be up - he needed to relax.
Within a few minutes, I realized I had my old pony back, the one who gets just up enough at shows to give him some extra impulsion that makes him super easy to ride...and I was on way too early for that pony! I kept him moving and thinking literally until they were yelling at me to get to the ring - which I trotted all the way over to, in order to not lose him:
|Trotting over to the show ring|
We went straight in for 1-1, he was ready. And it felt so good! Definitely way better than I expected to get my first time on my own.
Our scores went from a low of 5.0 when he broke into the canter for a step when I asked for the trot lengthening, to highs of 8 for the downward transition at X from the left lead canter to the trot "well balanced and fluid in transition," and an 8 for our final halt.
Her remarks were "What a willing, hard-working horse! Good job!" She gave us a 67%, good for first by 7 percentage points in a class of 5.
When we finished, we had about 90 minutes before our next test, and I knew impulsion would be a problem coming out of the stall for 1-2. I was not surprised.
|All pictures are from the first test.|
This test was just flat. I had what I had, and what I had wasn't much. He was too quick, and lost that impulsion that makes my job easier. We ended up with a totally respectable 64% and another first (of 3). The judge actually commended me for not asking for more from him, saying "Willing partner with rider careful not to push him too much in later lengthenings yet - he needs more strength to cover more ground and come back (sit)."
|Look, the beginnings of a stretchy trot circle.|
|This horse and his constant need to rest a hind leg as soon as we halt, I swear.|