What a day! Things just seemed to line up for all of us. The weather held up and didnt rain, like it was supposed to, at all really! It really could have been a miserable show if it rains as we didnt get stalls because we were both riding First test 1 and 2 and when we entered didnt think we would have that much time between classes.
I headed up early with my mom so I could watch some people we knew who rode earlier. Tolo, my horse that I just sold over the summer, was there so it was nice to see him!
Alanna and Stephanie then came up with the boys just after 1. Mystic came off looking like he needed a nap! Rhythm was also very calm for his first show! We headed to the warm up ring just to hand walk to boys around since we had time. Mystic pony really didnt care about anything but we didnt expect any less of him. Papa Rhythm took everything in very good, he looked at some things but never even came close to having a complete blow out (well besides the drain pipe, those eat horses! He just jumped but came right back) and definitely got a gold star for being so good throughout the whole experience. It was nice that we got to walk the boys in the indoor stadium arena so that the judges stand wouldn't be so scary when we had our tests, it was scaring majority of the horses. After getting our arena time in we headed back to the trailer to tack up. Mystic pony came out ready to go when I got on him and was really good in warm up. We rode First test 1 first (where Alanna did First test 2) so warm up time was short as I didnt want to have no engine by our second test (that planned failed anyways.. whoops!). He came into his test really good. His trot lengthenings were not as good as they could be but we didnt really get to do them at all in warm up since it was full of a bunch of people who clearly dont ride with other people. You would start a lengthening in there and have to stop like 3 strides out because someone cut you off. His second one in that test was better but still not great. One thing he kept trying to do was pop his shoulder inside and away from the rail (we had this problem, much worse, last year). We also got a couple comments on his canter being to 'down hill' at the end of our first test. He definitely was tired at the end of it and was trying, and clearly succeeding, to get really heavy and pull me down at the canter. Over all I was VERY happy with him and the fact that we just finished our first First level test! We got good collective marks (all 7's and 8's!), along with our 74.8% and 1st place (YAY!) and the judges comment at the end said "Very willing horse".
Our second test definitely left some room for improvement but nothing I didnt already know. Once again warm up was bad. Getting any sorts of lengthening or leg yields was almost impossible with the other riders so I cant really blame him when we got in the show ring and he was 1)super tired and 2) didnt really get to do them in warm up. I actually thought his leg yield was decent for him. We got 6's on both of them. She commented that we got a late start, I actually started early but didnt get much of a response in the beginning. She also said his haunches lagged behind. I think I was just praying that I would get any response at all and didnt ride him as well as I could have, especially since I was also trying to just keep him moving forward! That being said our lowest scores were on our leg yields and lengthenings. His engine was dying on me. I think that if I rode him stronger he would have given me more, lessons learned for next show! Our scores for this test were more across the board from 6 to 9. Some of it was me and not riding him to where I should, circles to large, some of it was him ready for a full nights sleep, and all of it will get better with more time. Especially our lengthenings and leg yields. She commented at the end that he is a very steady guy and I rode accurately and thoughtfully but he needs more impulsion as we move up this level. Again he still got a 68 % and won his class though!
I think it was a great start to our show season. I didnt really know what to expect going into it so now that I know, I can get back to work! Obviously if Teacher Mary would have been riding him he would have done much better but I am getting there with him, slowly but surely! All the judges comments were correct and I could feel all of what she said throughout my tests. I know that she was quite a generous point giver so I dont expect these scored next show (with a much tougher judge) but I still felt like she had our all weak point on there too.
He was so good and all our mistakes were mostly just a matter of me riding him stronger and better to get it.
Quite a few people came up to me and just loved him for how steady and willing he was. Once guy came up and said "the first word that came to me when I saw him was 'heart'." I think that describes hims very well. Now its just a matter of me riding him better, dont you just hate when its all your fault?! :)
First level test 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFeyF1bF1RU
First level test 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P78JtNQsL88