So a glance at the calendar today made me realize that exactly three weeks from today I will be headed down centerline for the last time this year at the CBLM USDF Region 1 Finals.
It has been a challenging show year, but not because our work. Mother Nature conspired to make the weather front and center at most of our licensed shows. She has a sick sense of humor…torrential rains right before our first and second shows made footing an issue. And hellish heat invaded the second two shows. So, Mother N, what is in store for October? Snow? Hail? Locusts?
Ike and I have made steady progress in our Second Level work as the season progressed. I finally feel like I have a grasp on the concept of collection…we might not be 100% committed to our collected work, but we are seeing Ike gain more stamina and musculature to hold the collection for longer than the short side of the arena. Today during my lesson, we actually found another gear in his trot work. (I am not sure I am quite as ready for that gear!!)
And while some would be disappointed to end up with three red ribbons (we scratched our last ride because we ran out of gas), I could not be more pleased with the results of our most recent show two weeks ago.
Our scores from the Rose Mount show were our personal best for the tests we rode. Our first class was Second Level test 2 and we managed a 68.834%. Yes, I know, it almost seems like I typed the wrong numbers. I was warming up for test 3 when I heard my score. Pretty sure my mouth was a big fat O. Holy moly!! I had whispered to Ike right before we entered that we should shoot for a 68%, but I didn’t think we’d actually pull it off.
Our two test 3 scores were also our personal best – a 65.8 % and a 65%. Woo hoo! We held both canter serpentines. Another woo hoo! Ike’s attempted potty break almost caused me to giggle during my Saturday ride. He kept trying to stop during our turn on the haunches, then we botched our first canter transition while he finished his business. Oh well. I am still tickled with the overall effort, and we now have both scores we need for the 2017 GAIGS if we chose to attend. (The two days are run as two separate events so competitors can do exactly what we did.)
With those scores, Ike earned the final score necessary to complete his USDF Second Level Horse Performance Certificate. Not sure he is as proud of that as I am. He seemed to be more thrilled with the free treat samples we got in the competitor’s gift bag.
So now we are doing our final preparations for October 14th. Ike’s pedicure is done. His winter coat is coming in fast and furious, so he has hair on his face again. Ms. C will hop on him once or twice for some fine tuning on his lateral work. Our lessons will be intense. I need to keep my eye on our goal: our best ride of the season.