We Survived 2-1!

So this happened:


I'm sure equal parts of you are thinking "What was she thinking, she's not ready for that!" and "Go you!" right now.  It's hard to know when to tackle a new level, even just at a schooling show, but this is why I did it:

1. I can get away with all my bad habits at First Level.  At Second, I can't.  Second forces me to ride better.

2. When I'm sitting well and he's on my aids, he's totally capable of Second. (See: yesterday's post in which NK tells me I am the problem.)

3. I wanted to take a stab at Second at a schooling show halfway through the year to get judge feedback that I could then work on the rest of the season, while still showing First rated.

4. I can reliably get him on my aids every ride now/I have an effective, if lengthy, warmup/I don't feel like I will go into the ring unprepared.

5. I don't feel like we're going to improve at First until we start seriously focusing on Second, or, as JenJ says, "It's amazing how well a Second Level horse does at First Level."

And...
We were terrified.


We survived, with a 60.000%!

First outta 2, but, y'know.

I am definitely not going to call us Second Level confirmed.   We are Second Level "didn't embarrass ourselves" and Second Level "not going rated anytime soon."  But it was such a great experience for us and definitely the right call to do that test.

Pretty sure we did well because my braid game was exceptionally on point on Sunday.
Our scores ranged from 4.0's in the canter serpentine (well-balanced simple changes, but no walk steps) to 7.0's for things like the walk, the halt/rein back and free walk.  Most of our comments were "more", and our collectives were "Capable pair.  Work on better uphill balance and more half halts for more engagement of hind end."

(Also 2-1 is suuuuuuuuuuuuuuch a nicer test to ride than 1-3.  Counter canter = easy, shallow loops = die in a fire.)

I sat in a lawn chair in front of Connor's stall drinking my coffee and watching the rain all morning.  Had a horse's head in my lap for most of that time.
I did...forget my test in the middle of it.  Just, mind went blank, forgot what was next.  The judge helped jog my memory and gave me a nice red -2 for that.  But even with that, our score was respectable.

The funniest thing all day was that the horse that went right before us in the same ring, doing the same test, was...a chestnut with flaxen section D Welsh Cob gelding.  What are the odds?!  The judge had to think she was seeing double!

I internet stalked his sale ad.  He's lovely.  

So, now we have a nice roadmap for what to work on, and we won't feel totally terrified the next time we try Second (and I won't forget my test!).  I waffled for so long on whether to do it or not, but in the end, it feels like a good decision for both of us.

21 comments:

  1. I'm definitely in the "go you" camp! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. woo congrats! sometimes ya just gotta take that plunge to really truly see what you're actually working with. sounds like it worked out pretty well for you too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think so. You don't want to be unprepared for the level, but at some point you just have to do it and accept it won't be perfect, but it's a point in the journey.

      Delete
  3. Excellent!! I always told my students- the only thing you'll bruise by moving up too soon is your ego. It's not like riding at a higher level in dressage is physically dangerous or anything (I mean riding in general is but you know). And it looked like it paid off! Nice job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, that means a lot to hear! I was really nervous about the decision to do it - obviously since I didn't blog or social media about it until after I was done, haha.

      Delete
  4. That is so cool! Way to get out there and get it done.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good for you! I like your categorizing of "Second Level "didn't embarrass ourselves"" haha. And those braids 😍

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol yeah, I don't want anyone to get the idea that I think we're really killing it at Second or anything. We would have gotten murdered at a rated show.

      Delete
  6. Way to go Jen and Connor!!! So sorry we missed watching it since our ride times were so close together. Were all 3 cobs in warm-up at the same time?

    Great job, great score, and great getting to talk to you awhile on Sunday :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! No problem, I feel so bad missing both of yours, but I was riding for one and trying to keep dry during the other! I think the other Cob came into the ring just after you went over to do your test. Thank you, it was great to talk to you too!

      Delete
  7. Awesome! So glad you did it, and a 60 is fantastic especially for your first time out!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your #5 point is spot on!! It's so true. And although it should be it is still a little mind blowing the improvement in our first level tests we got after schooling more 2nd. Congrats on a successful debut!!! 😃

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha yeah, JenJ is pretty right about that I think. The canter is our biggest issue and the amount of control I'll have to develop to really get canter/walk transitions will help so much with the other issues we have.

      Delete
  9. WOOT!!! This is my theory, too. I call these tests "kamikaze runs". Never really know how they are going to go, but you have to start somewhere!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Woohoo!! That's fantastic. I'm totally into kamikaze tests and actually used to sometimes do that with tests in school haha. You guys really did fantastic especially if you hadn't had the mistake reducing your score. So happy for you.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP