Satori took about ten minutes to load and it amazed me at how calm and patient L was. She didn't rush him but also didn't brook any nonsense out of him either. Once he was loaded, we headed out. (J had loaded all of L's things into the trailer or the truck while we loaded Satori. She's good that way.)
We were the first riders to arrive at Circle Star, but not by much. J deftly parked the trailer and we got the boys set up with some grain, some hay and water. Then we gave them a good grooming and saddled up. I decided to try a saddle pad I had purchased when I got the Trekker, to see if perhaps some of my issue was with the pad. To make up for the fact that I wasn't going to be using the BOT for today's ride, I gave Ashke a bit of a rub before we started our ride.
We spent the morning working on flatwork (dressage). We warmed up in pairs (there were 6 of us total) and then they asked me to ride the Novice test.
Couple of things to consider. We ride in a 40 x 20 m ring. The numbers come up quick. We handled most of it much better, however, after our first canter when we transition down at C, I really need to slow the trot. I didn't get any stretch across the diagonal. When I loosened the reins he gathered speed rather than reaching down. This is something we can work on. This rushing also caused me to be a bit behind the eight ball in asking for my right lead canter at F. We really didn't get it until closer to A. That was all because of the rushed trot across the diagonal. This was also the first time we did the loop to the quarter line and the counter canter back to the rail in both directions without breaking. Our halts were fairly good, except for the one at DX when he knew he was supposed to back up and instead I was asking him to stand quietly. We still need more work on immobility.
Some of the take aways in the flatwork were: the turns at E and B are squared off turns, not loops. As is the turn at K and the final two turns at B and X. After the final salute, the test is not over until the rider has exited at A. This means riding forward and turning either direction at C, then riding on a loose rein along the rail until A. (I obviously didn't understand that I was supposed to ride forward and to the rail.) Overall, I felt Ashke did a great job. He tried really hard for me, although he also was trying to predict what I was going to ask him for next.
I thought we looked pretty good.
After the flatwork, we ate an amazing lunch, then worked on the Ease of Handling phase.
We also did the three barrel at a canter, which I was so proud of Ashke. He pretty much has the idea, now I just need to get a walk stride instead of a stop for the lead changes. I think that will be a fairly simple change.
J said that the auditors watching us were pretty impressed with how well he did the poles.
We moved outside and one of the visiting trainers taught the proper way to jump.
We did have an interesting exchange where she told me to post and I told her I didn't.
Why is that so strange?
This was worth every penny I paid for the clinic.
We have been trying for over a year to get me over a jump without destroying my horse.
I finally got it together and we cantered it easily.
Jumps will now be a steady part of our evening rides. Just one, but the jumping with get us really comfortable and the work will be great for Ashke's butt. I have no desire to jump more than a crosrail in practice for the WE obstacle.
Ashke did great cantering between obstacles when asked. He was able to canter obstacles I didn't think we would be able to do this year. I can't wait for Expo to see how he does. It won't be perfect, but it has to be an improvement. He has come so far since September, it just kind of floors me.