In June, there is a schooling show put on by TJ (entered this last year) and we will be riding Novice. The show is offering an clinic in the morning with the Precision test and Speed test in the afternoon. At Novice, I can ride between obstacles and around obstacles at the trot, except where the obstacles are mandatory to ride at a walk. I could also choose to canter, but my ride last night lead me to believe that would be a bad idea.
Last night was our first night doing WE at SQA. I think we would have had more participants if I could have stayed past 6 pm. Unfortunately, I found out last Thursday that T had his Voice Recital (his final for his Voice Class) on Monday night at 6:30. I had enough time to set out four obstacles with C, saddle Ashke quickly, ride for 30 minutes and then dump him back in his stall. Next week will be better and I will be there until 7:30ish. It was just bad timing this week.
3 barrel obstacle behind the gate
The four obstacles were 3 barrels, gate, corridor with bell, and side pass between poles with cup. When we were working on the 3 barrels, we did it first at a trot and then tried it at the canter. Ashke could not make the corner tight enough to the left around the upper barrel and I felt him break to a trot due to his right hip. Maybe, if we continue to work on it, we will get strong enough, but for now, he is really solid at the trot. We have good bend at the trot and his transitions between directions are good, in my mind. I would rather show him at the gait we are solid at and then continue to train at the canter.
I tried to over reach last year at the show, thinking we were ready when we really weren't, but hell that happens when you've never shown as an adult. This year, my plan is to continue to work the obstacles every Monday and solidify our performance with practice at the clinic with CS. Ashke and I need to find our comfort zone, where he is able to perform without tweaking himself, while we continue to rebuild the muscle in his right leg. I think we are ready for the Novice level and that Ashke can perform all of those obstacles at the trot. Physically, we might be pushing it if I was asking him to perform at a canter. And we see Dr D the week before our show, so maybe he will be strong enough to train at the canter by then.
And in the meantime, we are planning on riding Waterton Canyon with PJ on Saturday.