October 1, 2018

IDS Schooling Show Wrap-Up: 2-2

I am so, so happy with this horse.

Opening halt.  Thank you Karen for taking all of the pictures in this post!

It was not a clean test, to be sure.  I definitely left some points on the board.  But it was such an improvement.  I was thrilled with it even before I saw we scored a 61.282% to notch our highest second level score to date.

But the second medium - eyyyyyyyyy!  This is progress for sure!

Most scores were in the 6.0-6.5 range with only one well-deserved 4.0 when he broke at the end of the counter canter in his tough direction.  (Note to self: need to ride with conviction and find a way to school in a standard ring every so often)

Counter canter in his easy direction is...easy.

Both of our halts were 7.5's, and probably would have scored higher except the judge wanted to see more "directness".  I'm still happy with both of them though:

Closing halt, good boy!

I actually don't think this will be our last show this season after all, but this test was the perfect setup for the off-season anyway.  I proved to myself that I've improved, he's improved, and for the first time in my three attempts at Second I don't feel like a total imposter taking a kamikaze run at things.

Now what we need is more and less - more angle in the lateral work, fewer (yes, zero, eventually) trot steps into the walk from the canter.  More uphill balance in the medium canter and less indirectness in our trot-halt.  More engagement and suppleness and less falling back to leaning on each other when times get tough.  All of those are nice, clear things we can work on over the winter.

It's been such a tough summer riding-wise that I'm taking a moment to savor this ride.  My rides for most of the spring and part of the summer looked nothing like this test and it was HARD to get through.  It's hard to know what the right answer is when you're stuck in the middle of a quagmire like that, but for me, tackling it head on with the help of my trainers was the right call.

This test was so far from perfect, but it represents a lot of progress.  He's been ready for this for a while, but I had to sort myself out before we could lay down a Second Level test that left me grinning from ear to ear for no other reason than 'it felt cool and we had fun.'

"That felt cool and I had fun!"


  1. You guys look fantastic!!! Love that smile at the end :)

  2. Woooo! You've been working SO HARD -- you definitely should savor this moment :D :D :D

  3. Yay!! You guys look awesome. This is very exciting. :D

  4. Whoooo!! You definitely deserve to celebrate after how hard you’ve worked. He looks fantastic!

  5. Congratulations!!! I’m so happy for you guys and I have at least a small idea of how hard this is. Fingers crossed I’ll be working through some of this this winter!!

  6. You guys both look absolutely fantastic!!

  7. what a great experience, congrats!

  8. Yes!! Congratulations! You guys have been working so hard and it's paying off like crazy. I love that last picture!

  9. You and Connor both look amazing!

  10. You guys look awesome!!! well done :)