Officially a success because we went, he was not a heathen, there were no unplanned dismounts, and he got fair scores for a 3 year old with a nervous, adult amateur on top! We survived.
Like any human, I had scope creep in my expectations. Particularly after delivery of the product. I went in with the proper expectations, then met those, and was secretly disappointed that he did not look like the 5 yr old mare who looked solid 2nd level in front of us in our Training level 2 schooling show class. Hello Self, he is 3. He has never been to a show as a riding horse. You are not exactly the “go for it” rider at shows and were looking for success, defined as a positive experience for the baby horse.
Pat came along with me, since I asked him, and he hadn’t been to a horse show in years. I didn’t want to be alone at the show with the potential heathen. The photos are grainy, cell phone pics. Pat needs to upgrade his phone. I think there was a photographer and if there was a good one, I can buy one for a “my baby horse’s first show picture”.
He also sucked back big time as we entered at A the first time. I was conservative and did not push him forward. There was nothing terrible, one hugely inaccurate line (I would not have quibbled if she’d given me a -2 for an error sort of inaccurate), and a series of 5 to 6.5, more on the 6 side for a 58.8% in Training 2.
Training level test 1 was our second test. I went over and worked to establish a bit more forward. We got some much improved trot work, but baby horse was TIRED. They were about 15 minutes behind, and that meant a really long ride for a 3 year old, who usually works 35-40 minutes. So, this test was an overall improvement with some 7s, but major disobedience in the canters, for 4.5 and 3.0! That brought it to a 60.0, but given the kicking out at the canter, the wrong lead, etc, it was improved.
Things to do for improvement.
1. ride more forward. He is not going to try to dump me, he may kick out a bit, but get him forward.
2. have him wear a bridle number at home for a while. He needs to get used that that. There was a lot of head shaking, and I think it was the feel of the bridle number.
3. check for how far behind the show is before warming up. He does not need long rides, he needs short, happy success.
4. Maybe only do 1 test for a couple of shows.
I think a few more trips down centerline will fix most of this.