This weekend was a local schooling show and I decided to take Vana, Simon, and Working Student to it and see what our baseline was for 3rd and 4th level. Naturally I was doing Test 3 in each of them because I'm a psychopath :P
Our tests were all in the morning. Working Student was doing T-2 and 1-2 and I had my crazy tests set up as already mentioned. We would be done by noon and I was pumped. Except it was the first cold morning and I don't do cold well. No matter, we had show coats and were ready to look fancy in order to stay warm.
I had busted my butt memorizing my tests the previous week at work and practically any time I had a chance. We'd tried them out once each in the nearby regulation sized arena so I knew we'd do them pretty well but Vana was pretty hyped to be doing lead changes and then pirouettes in the 4th level test. Oh well, time to see how we do!
My hips hadn't recovered from Regionals so my sitting trot was super tight and floppy but I faked through it as best I could and then died next to the trailer praying to the dressage gods to help me (pro tip: they didn't).
Our first test was 3-3 and I loved it. A wonderfully organized test and super kind if you're keeping your head in the game. It was just... yes. Me likey. I believe we scored a 65%+ on that one. After a short break we went back in for our 4-3 test and scored a 63%+. The judge was really complimentary even though Vana and I had a few "who's in charge" moments on the tempis and counter canter but we had a plan and I think he learned to be a little more obedience. It's also a REALLY long test so I was pleased that he did both tests practically back to back and didn't tire out like he had at Regionals. I was happy enough with my scores but had plenty to work on for homework but it was a good day.
I texted Trainer our results as I had been instructed to do and we rolled back home to nap. Trainer was at a clinic somewhere north so I didn't see her until the following week in our lesson where she said we did super amazing and to go ahead and get our shad and double bridle sorted out so we could skip through 3rd and 4th to PSG.
Wait what??? o.O
It was super amazing and exciting to see her compliment us that much and I was proud of our progress. The tests were both really fun and it's a blast seeing Vana enjoy himself as much as he does working and showing. I also felt like I did a good job of "showing" him when I could, "training" him when I needed to, and "riding" him as best I was able throughout the test to keep a much better flow throughout.
I guess we're going shopping!
Oh, did you want to know how Working Student and Simon did?
They did quite well for their first time out. Simon is the sort of horse that reflects what you put into a test (as evidenced by our low scores our first weekend out where I rode him like a sack of potatoes on the first day then sort of got my crap together on the next day to a "miraculous" 10%+ increase) so you really need a plan and to ride that plan. Working Student hadn't shown in YEARS and hadn't ridden in about a year so we didn't have high hopes for her except to school in a new place. Her T3 test was first and she didn't keep her focus too well but still got arounda 60%. The next test, 1-2, I called for her (it's a crazy test, seriously!) and she did better at catching her mistakes as they were happening rather than after wards. They're a brand new pair who have both had time off, but they did really well trying it out together and have lots of room to grow!