Monday, September 10, 2012

First Level at the Schooling Show

I'm late in writing about it, but we rode first level, test 2 in the schooling show at our farm last weekend.  I planned ahead to make sure I had a solid 30 minutes to warm up, and I'm really glad I did. 

Our test had some really nice moments, and overall, was quite nice.  It wasn't perfect, but it was better than I had expected it to be.  We scored a 7 on our entrance and salute.  We scored 5.5's on our trot lengthenings (Louie still doesn't really have trot lengthenings) and a 5.5 and a 6 on our canter lengthenings (which I felt were quite nice, but the judge wanted to see more lengthening of the frame here- so, something we can work on, considering I hadn't schooled a canter lengthening for many months).   We scored 6.5 and 7 on our leg yields, which were pretty nice, though Louie still has a tendency to brace his neck up and tighten his back in them.  We scored a 7 on our first extended canter-regular canter transition, and a 5.5 on our second (as that was in the far end of the arena, where all bets are off- Louie is afraid of the letter "A").  We scored a 7 on our first canter-trot transition, and a 5.5 on the second.  We scored 7's on our walk work, including the free walk, then our walk-trot transition.  We managed to score a 6.5 on our stretchy trot circle, which was not quite as nice as our stretchy circle in our last test at the show the previous weekend, but we did get some stretch.  Our canter work was quite nice, I thought, for the most part.  Our 15 meter circles were very nice, and the tempo and quality of the canter was much nicer than it had been a few months earlier.  However, towards the end of the test, after a string of 7's, Louie took the wrong lead twice (asking for the right lead), so we scored a 4 on that and 5.5's on everything left in the test.  Ouch.  Bad Louie.  Well, maybe I didn't set him up right, I'm not sure.  It was my first time ever having ridden through the test. 

Overall, we came out with a 60.9%, from a schooling show judge who is pretty fair, and not overly generous, so I'm pretty happy with that.  On our collective marks, we got a 7 on gaits, 6 on implusion, 5 on submission, 6.5 on rider's position and seat, and 5.5's on use of the aids and harmony.  We had some bracy movements at the end after the missed canter transition, then going into the "scary" end of the arena.  Really not bad though, for our first time trying 1st level.  Our trot lengthenings can use some work, but otherwise, we have pretty much all of the movements needed for first level. 

The test was really fun to ride, and it was low stress to only ride one test.  I should do that more often!  I'm looking forward do doing that again, and it was a great way to end our show season!


  1. How lovely to have had such a nice performance and result - good on you! Great to read that it was a fun ride too :)

  2. Hi Leah,

    Congratulations on a job very well done. It is a big accomplishment to do so well at such a big a show. You and Louie are champs

  3. thank you both! Henry, it was actually just a schooling show, not a big show, but it was fun nonetheless! I really like 1st level, it's a lot more fun than training level!