To be honest, I almost scratched 1-3. Our ride times were 1:10 and 2:15pm on a day so hot they issued a heat advisory, Connor was tired and there's a cross-country course worth of canter in 1-3, and we had never ridden it before. Like, never.
But then my friend Liz mumbled "something something year end awards if you ride 1-3" and I stuck it out. I needed to, anyway: it was our last chance to tackle the more challenging 1-3 test at a non-rated show.
|Thanks again to Connor's breeder, Lisa Brezina, for all these photos!|
This test was, predictably, flat. I barely warmed him up for it, given the heat and tiredness and just having finished 1-2 45 minutes before, and that was a good decision. He came straight out ready to roll. But I was tired, my new position was flagging, and I was also afraid to take too much contact given the lack of hind end push I was getting.
|Sitting like a lump, very helpful to my tired horse, I'm sure.|
Overall though, it made a good impression on the judge. I left my score sheet at the barn as I type this, so no rundown, but we ended up with a 69% and another blue ribbon. This was under a different judge, and he broke twice in the 2nd canter shallow loop. The left is his weaker direction, and of course left is the second canter direction, so I knew going in it would be hard to keep him together for it.
|Look at his face, he's like "...this canter has to end sometime, right?"|
|These pictures aren't in chronological order. This picture is still from the first direction, before he realized the canter never ends in 1-3.|
He doesn't need to be able to just canter for a long period of time, he can do that. He needs to be able to canter well for a long period of time. So between now and our first rated show, we're going to ramp up the canter work, increasing both of our strength and abilities to hold our new positions, because this is what happens when we get tired:
|I'm learning forward, not sitting, he's leaning forward, not sitting.|
Oh and also, a video, with even more commentary this time: