Lucky was a jerk walking to the ring. I didn’t let that frazzle me and just took some deep breaths and used the walk over to work on my 10 m circles. We went in to the show ring with Lucky’s face in the air and my seat tilted forward. After I gave the judge my number I reminded myself to ride every stride and not just give up and let this be a crappy test. When the whistle blew I used a good 30 of my 45 seconds by doing my job as a rider. Already before going on the centerline I was proud of myself. I was RIDING…something I don’t always do at a show. If nothing else happened that was a good thing.
The test was okay, but not great. Lucky decided to block out my right leg and it was like it wasn’t even there. At one, during our free walk, she was drifting right so I put my leg on. No response. So I gave a squeeze with the right. Still nothing. I decided it was a teachable moment and actually took my leg off and bumped her with it to get a reaction…she did a half a stop left and went to ignoring me again. It was so late in the test and so sill that all I could do was laugh…so I did. During my test! Overall my first test was consistently inconsistent. We had about a 5 stride cycle going where I would ask her to go, she would take a few steps and she would slow down again. Same thing with her jaw, she would relax and tighten her poll every few strides. Since my big goal for the show was a consistent horse I had to give her credit. It might not have been what I had in mind when I wanted a constant horse, but hey, at least she wasn’t all over the place!
I felt like the test was okay, but that I would be close to the 60% mark. I really, really wanted to qualify for the ECR championships so as soon as we walked away from the first test I set to work at the walk so we could do better on test number two. We did a lot of square turns, a lot of turns on the forehand and haunches and even worked a little at the trot. It was a little harder to warm up on the grass at this point because even though it is a HUGE field with so many horses warming up and the warm up gate still being closed I felt like I was constantly getting close to the other horses. I was actually relieved when I got to go back in the ring.
Even with the weird warm up situation I felt like Lucky was more on the aids as we went around for our second test. While I was going around the outside of the ring they announced the results of the first class. I hadn’t been paying attention and was giving the judge my number so all I heard was Lucky Lady got a something7.8%. I was a little bummed because I had wanted that 60%, but what can you do? Lucky was getting better and better with each and every stride. When the whistle blew I smiled because I was riding my 60% horse! We were going to get that score, I could feel it!
To Be Continued…