We spent much of the last month prepping for the HDS show this weekend. At first I was going to just take Vana to go for our 3rd and 4th level scores before bumping up to PSG (or failing miserably and sitting at those levels - not something we were honestly expected hence we went for it). Vana and I had started some pi/pa work as well as cleaning up pirouettes and tempis - things that aren't ideal when you're taking a horse like Vana at 3rd and 4th level. The past two weeks we really focused on good solid gaits and clean changes with expression (his specialty normally). I learned my tests and we felt good to go. About Christmas time though, we agreed that we would list Simon for sale at the end of January as he's doing so well and I feel confident that he could make someone super amazingly happy with his training). He and Sarah (Working Student) were looking good and I decided to get them out at the show too just to see how they'd do. She hadn't shown above 1st level before and he hadn't shown above Training level but I convinced her to go with it. Oh and she'd not done a recognized show before. *cough
After a month of coaching and letting her play with things, they really were clicking and seemed to feel comfortable with much of the tests' requirements. I also love the 2-3 test and convinced her that it rode better than 1-3. She believes me now. #converted She also learned that travers isn't that bad and that everything pretty much has a point to it and that made everything better. Perfect? Of course not, but the progress they've made in the past three weeks is outstanding.
With their last ride on Thursday and mine on the previous Monday (stupid rain!), we packed up the trailer and headed out to Great Southwest Friday afternoon. Naturally it was pouring and we got soaked unloading everything. Horses were bathed, Simon was ridden in the huge arena, and we double checked times. Vana twisted his shoe enough to be annoying so we contacted the farrier for the following morning to get that stuck back on before riding for the day. Since we were running super short on time, we found the braiding faerie and had her do Vana and Simon so we wouldn't be too rushed the next day. After all that, we hopped back in the truck and drove back to town to drive back the next morning.