Willingness has the be the single best trait in a horse hands down! You could have the most athletic impressive mover in the world and never reach that potential because of a wacky brain. Then you can be my pony. Obviously he was blessed with the cutest face in the world but beyond that he has got to be one of the most willing horses out there. He clearly was not built to have big floaty movement or an incredible trot lengthening that makes your jaw drop but where he lacks physically he makes up 10x mentally.
I had our trainer ride him for me last night. I hadnt realized how long it has been since she has been on him until we got to talking last night. It has been almost a year, basically since we were starting our first level show season! I was very happy to hear that she thinks he is going very, very well. She commented on how he is probably the most generous horse she has ever ridden and how smart he is. Since I have never ridden a second level test, let alone any of the movements (expect the few we have started to school) it is nice to hear that we are on the right track. She also started introducing travers to him. He was definitely trying to throw her to the outside (towards her right leg, his problem side) but I think he started getting the idea.
After her ride we started talking about if we were going to be ready to do 2nd test 1 in March at Dressage for the Ages. She thinks we will be ready then and we actually decided that we are hopefully going to debut in February at Bears Above the Ground league show. We had two big reasons for this:
1) even though we know all the work he is doing is very correct we are not sure what the judges will think of his collected trot. They could really ding us there if they dont think it is a true collected trot. The judge on the day we are going to this show is a judge that we already know likes him and has given him great scores (a 72 and 74%). Basically we are just looking to see what the judge will have to say about him.
2) our trainer will be at this show with her mare so she will be there to warm us up which will be a HUGE help!
We have another lesson in 2 weeks that I will ride him in. The only bad thing about this show is that is is 2 weeks before the original one! Back to work we go!