In the morning we had Dressage and cones. We got over to the dressage arena and proceeded to warm up. Kat was a bit excited and my choice of going with the snaffle might not have been the best one, but we were there and that was that.
I worked him on some big circles to the left and he was beginning to wind down some. As horses often do though, you change directions and they get wound up again. Kat was no exception, but he did work it off in a matter of 2-3 circles to the right. One halt, trot, halt and we were ready to go in. Sort of.
We did Test 4 and while walking it, I thought I had it down. Enter at A working trot and halt at X- we nailed it. (Or it felt that way at least.) Kat was straight, solid and I had hope! I was trying to let him have his head so he might not be fussy in the face. He halted through a walk and stood like a statue.
Working trot to C, track left, working trot to E. As we turned in front of the judge Kat was Da Bomb! He went straight up to the rail and turned so nicely... I was singing to him and heard the judge say "Good bend" as we made our turn. We drove our corner deep and made another graceful sweeping turn heading to E.
Forty meter circle at E. Still singing, I think I really started to let go and Kat was doing well. I had to remind myself again to LOOK UP! Look THROUGH your turns. The circle is a clock and look 3-4 numbers ahead... This worked so well for me in the past- so I try to Keep Doing IT! And as crazy as it is, I have to keep reminding myself of this. every. single. time. STOP LOOKING AT THE PONY. He isn't going anywhere without the cart and you... Smile! Look where you want him to go.
Working trot to A walk to F, F to X free walk, working walk at X- I forgot to really let him go or even push him for this one. He was still a little on edge but the judge managed to see some of the freedom in his walk. It wasn't as good as he had done at home when we practiced in long lines, but things change and you work with the horse you have for the day.
X to H develop working trot, H to B- Bend to the right isn't as good as it could be lately. Kat is always willing to go and our transition to the trot was good. I remember something in the notes about it, but not what specificly. I did have to take a hold of the right rein and pop him once with the left to get his attention and driving the corners deep again helped us both locate his brain, jump start it and get it back on the idea of what was going on.
Forty meter circle at B- we were both starting to relax. I let him go a little again, he was bent to the right enough for me, could have been better, but I wasn't going to worry about it. I was singing still and had to remind myself again- LOOK UP! Look through your turns, etc.
Working trot to A, working walk a to K, K to X free walk- I had a brain fart. I didn't ask for a free walk until there was almost no room left to do it. Kat was drifting a little and my mind was too.
Between X and M develop working trot. M to E- Another solid upward transition. Kat was light and willing as usual. Good bend in the turns, drove the corners deep and I think we were both just looking to finish it off at this point.
Working trot E to B, B to A halt at X- Our turns were good, Kat was traveling straight, we went rail to rail, made our right turn at B and he decided he needed a good reminder of right bend again. I overshot the turn at A and we staggered our way to X a little wobbly.
Halt at X 3-5 seconds and back 2-4 steps- Kat stopped at X but felt as if he was going to step back. Since you want forward motion more, I pushed him one step forward. Bad move on my part, but I would rather that, than him anticipate what is next. We stood there, I counted One Appaloosa, cursed Sherry, laughed a little and called it good. I learned not to Tell Kat to back up because he will on his own until you send him forward. It won't be straight, it won't be pretty, but he will just go backwards on his own.
Working walk to G, Halt, salute and leave the arena at a working trot. I drew a complete B.L.A.N.K! I couldn't rmember if we were supposed to walk or trot to G. We started off trotting, I slowed him to a walk for a few strides. I questioned it, we trotted a little more, slowed him down to a walk again right before G, halted and saluted and left the arena rolling my eyes. I could not be upset with Kat for my mistake at the end. I knew it would cost us, but that was all on me.
Overall our scores were a handful of 6's and 7's, an 8 for the second movement and two 4's, one for one of the walk portions where he broke gait twice and for the last movement when we should have been walking.
The bottom portion- collective scores were as follows-
Gaits- 7 Kat needed to be more consistent and steady in his gaits. Some days he is, other days he is not.
Impulsion- 6 needs to be thru the back more
Submission- 5 Kat was fussy in the bridle, which he is at times and it shows here...
Driver- 7 "Keep working in relationship. Lot of talent here."