Leo and I returned home about a week and a half ago. I came immediately back to the barn/work and haven't had a moment to sit down and provide a recap of our training and showing trip to CA until now.
Overall, the trip went very well. Leo hauled like a pro and settled into his new home for the month at W Farms
like he never had left (Leo lived there for 8 months). He trained each
session like it was no big deal and handled his first show (a big show
nonetheless) like a seasoned veteran.
W Farms has become a second
family for me over the years. They have always welcomed me with open
arms each time I have come down to train. I always feel like a part of
the team and cannot say enough positive things about everyone involved
with the farm. David Wilson,
did a wonderful job preparing Leo and me for the Flintridge Show. The
main points that we worked on were to continue to keep Leo in front and
light to the leg and seat aids (we are now at the point I just need to
use a little seat and Leo will respond); continue to polish up the
submission (more so that Leo maintains consistency in the gaits and
frame and not from any disobedience); and finally to have Leo work in a
slightly higher frame (a frame that is appropriate for Training Level
and the USEF 4 year old test).
Leo really did shine at the
Flintridge Show. For being his first show, he handled the environment
like he had been showing for years. The highlight of the show was the
Training Level Test 3 ride on Friday when we scored a 76.8%. Leo was
fluid and smooth during this ride. One of the comments from judge Axel
Steiner was a this is how we want Training Level rides to be ridden.
Our ride was the second highest score of the day; and only .2% behind
the highest score of the day. Ironically, the high score of the day was
from my old mentor, Hilda Gurney.
In our other rides, we had
some simple young horse mistakes. When Leo becomes unbalanced in the
canter he will simply do a flying change to other lead. We had a couple
of those when I lost connection during the rides. Because there are
not a lot of points available in the Training Level and First Level
tests, mistakes like these are costly. In the two other tests where we
had these mistakes, we scored 68%. It is really encouraging that on our
"off" rides we are still near 70%.
Here is the video link from our Training 3 ride on Friday:
next show is this upcoming weekend at the Beaujolais Show over
Father's Day weekend. There I will be showing Leo and also Andi
Garland's 2 year colt Otto (Totalias x Riverman) in the Friday
Thank you for the support!