Today I hacked over to a neighbor’s farm. She has a 20mx60m regulation dressage ring, with a proper white, PVC fence all the way around, to practice my tests in the full sized ring. You even get the footing hitting the ring fence sound effects, it is really a nice place to practice.
OMG, those diagonals are LONG! And this is why I need to go practice in a regulation sized ring before a show. The angle and length of the diagonals is the most glaring thing, but in addition, I need to practice the geometry and spacing of the movements where RSVP are used….which is everywhere in Second and Third levels.
While warming up, Suzy noticed that Bali had better bend yesterday in the lesson, so I worked on improving that. A few more transitions, and then it was through the test. Second 3 rode nicely. It is a long test though. The first medium trot was really good at first, but then we lost it. I need to work on developing it more gradually so that we are showing the best part in the center, but all the medium and extended trots were greatly improved. I was focusing so much on my renvers that I rode them better than the shoulder ins. The halt, rein back was really good, the walk, half turn on the haunches were a bit big, but we kept our 1,2,3,4 march through.
Third 1 was a bit rougher, but to be honest, still better than 2012 when I was riding it. That test is short and everything comes up fast, especially when the rider has forgotten it and has a reader. The halt and rein back were terrible, and Bali fell out of canter as we came up to our second flying change, it was pretty warm and I think she was just getting tired. But, she really gave me a last final effort for that extended trot at the end. And, the shoulder in and half pass felt really nice. I think I’ll practice the 10m canter circle to a counter canter a few times this week, with a walk transition on the rail when we are straight, because even though we have not ridden this test in over a year, Bali was still anticipating the flying change after the 10m canter circle.
I rode Neuf at home and he was very good, I even cantered him on both leads. The left lead transition involved a head toss, but no kicking out at all, so there is still some balance and strength lacking. The canter transitions are definitely improving. He was super good as well.