Saturdays ATD was judged by British World Champion Driver/Clinician, Paul Sidwell. Our judge for Sunday was Rachael High, who was the same judge for our ADT in Coolidge the end of March.
Our dressage test for both days was Prelim 4
Since thee were two judges and the same test, I will put a P for Paul's scores and R for Rachael's. (My comments in parenthesis)
P- 6. Nice turn down C-LN Little wandering at X (he did)
R- 6 Some fussing in connection
P- 6 Little above bridle at M
R- 6 Slight head wag/counter wag
P- 7 Better paces shown
R- 6.5 straight, round, abrupt turn at F
P- 4 Nice O driven but break of pace before X (he cantered a few strides...)
R- 7 Slight counter bend
P- 7 Little late on the trans at D, good walk shown
R- 6.5 Wants to jigg. Unsteady connection (I don't remember him jigging, but he was pretty pooped)
P- 8 Good length shown (YAY!!!)
R- 7.5 Active walk. Clear stretch shown (I didn't push for his best walk and it didn't feel as good as the previous days walk. Still not a bad score and I'm Not complaining)
P- 7 Nicely driven shapes. Good reg w/trot shown.
R- 7 Right shoulder falling in on 2nd loop
P- 5 Break of pace before X, nice length shown
R- 7 Head wagging slightly but clear lengthening (apparently she either didn't see it or at least mark us down for the last few strides when he cantered)
P- 6 Good turn on C-LN little early on halt
R- 6.5 Slow to settle in halt
P- 7 Rein back nice
R- 6.5 Some stickiness in rein back
P- 7 Nice straight C-LN good halt at G but with a little resistance
R- 6 Head wagging
P- 7 Nice freedom of movement and active working trot
P- 6 Plenty of Imp shown, sometimes a little too much (Always better than not having enough!)
P- 5 showing signs of res w/ mouth opening when contact is applied.
R- 6.5 too much head wagging. Needs steadier connection
P- 7 Nicely driven test
R 7 arrow to comment above >>> too much head wagging. Needs steadier connection
The scores under Paul are awesome to me even though it was a tad higher than the score on Sunday. I was glad to have done so well after both of us having so much time off and especially after having bombed out at the last ADT in Prescott. Although the score of a 4 for our circle and the comment about it being so good didn't make sense to me. Gary explained to me later that normally breaking gait like that might have gotten a score of a 3 or even a 2. Paul was being generous in giving us a 4 for it, or the circles were that good that they made up for the break in gait. So it could have been worse...
The lower scores per movement on Sunday under Rachael are nothing to sneeze at either. His dropping his shoulder in the serpentine, the head wagging and loss of connection were all signs of a tired pony as described by my friend who has been giving me pointers. She was mighty damn impressed with the scores for our lengthened walk as she has always stressed this one to me and thankfully we finally caught on! Comparing our score on Sunday to those under the same judge back in March, much Improvement was made! We went from a 58.25 to a 48.97 which is a drop of 9.28 points. Now remember, in driving you are looking for the lowest scores. So to make an improvement like that? Wahoo!!!!
Another thing worthy of mentioning is that way back at the beginning while at our first CDE, it was mentioned to me by a few different people that someone else had told them, they had trained my pony. Um, yeah. When confronted about this, their response was, "That's bullshit. Total bullshit." I agree. It is bullshit! I haven't worked with a trainer with Kat, other than getting a few pointers here and there from Gary, via photos and half assed descriptions in emails of what I thought I needed to work on. If it were true that someone else had done the work and trained my pony for me, why then are we still holding our own in dressage at the ADT's? Taking into account that we've also moved up a level and don't have a lot of time to put into training, (mostly our work consists of a LOT of long trotting on the trails for conditioning purposes) sure we are still getting our asses kicked by a couple other people, but our dressage scores aren't usually far off from theirs, so I have no complaints.
I'm still excited to see how far Kat and I take it. Shoot we've already gone from being total newbies in the sport and not having a clue starting out, to having done 2 CDE's placing 4th and then 3rd respectively and gotten Res. CH in the ADT series our first year out in the *Green Driver* class. Then we skipped pretty much everything last year, came back moving up to prelim and done well enough so far. We need to work on some things and I will be posting more about that later, but things can only get better from here. I'm looking forward to it.