The abbreviation OOC brings back memories of my laboratory days spent mixing chemicals, using acetylene flames and playing with really cool instrumentation. All laboratory work done for regulatory purposes requires a lot of quality control in order to certify the results as true and accurate. Of course, things don’t always come out as planned, and when you just cannot figure out why things went awry, those analyses were noted with the term “OOC” – Out of Control. Basically, it means that you have no freaking idea why the analysis went south.
Ike and I sweated through our first lesson since last weekend’s show. Ms. C and I spent some time discussing my Second Level rides and how we can improve upon those scores. Mind you, we were both very pleased with last weekend since we hit our goal of getting in the 60th percentile with both my Second Level rides (64.242% and 61.212%), but now we need to refine the work and boost those scores a few more percentage points. She was there to see my rides, so she can definitively tell me what we need more of – more jump in our canter, more oomph and engagement in our collected trot work, more of everything in our medium trot and canter work, more shoulder freedom in our shoulder ins, and less tension in my body. That isn’t too much to ask now is it?
So yesterday’s lesson was about finding the latent gears in Ike’s trot work. Ms. C kindly let me work in rising trot or I don’t think there would have been anyway we could have accomplished anything. We started in a solid working trot. Once we were stable there, I asked for a little more, and then more, and a smidge more, and then when I thought that was it, we went for another power push. At that point an elephant could have charged out of the woods and would not have noticed. I felt like we were riding the edge – barely in control – teetering on the brink of chaos. A little OOC if you will. Finally Ike really found that six gear in his hind end- Ah! There was the engagement. There was the lengthening of his frame. Does anyone seriously think I can sit THAT trot?!
We finally had to take a break, not for Ike’s sake but for mine. I really need to get my butt more aerobically fit to keep up with my horse. Between figuring out how to sit Ike’s medium trot and remembering to breathe, I have a lot of work to do before I am capable of getting the most out of my horse.
And speaking of work to do, our turn on the haunches also has miles to go to get out of the 5-6 range in scoring. We have better luck to the left than to the right. Ike’s bully of a right shoulder really likes to get in the way and interrupt our flow to the right. His hind end would rather shift to the left than put up a fight with that shoulder. If I get to busy in the saddle, it confuses the situation even more and we end up with a small shuffling circle with the haunches doing most of the moving. Not pretty.
But even with our issues, we are moving forward with our Second Level work. Going to try Second Level Test 2 at a Fix-a-Test clinic in a couple of weeks. It is the perfect opportunity to give that test a try and get some instant feedback from one of the local judges. She was one of the judges last weekend as well, so I can’t wait to hear her advice for boosting our scores.
We have no shows scheduled for July, so we have plenty of time to practice before we go public again.