I had off Friday, so I loaded the trailer and got everything ready to go. We left when hubby arrived home, and only managed to forget a few things (I don't make lists, which would probably drive most of you crazy, but whatever, it works for me). The show was two hours away, and we made good time and pulled in with plenty of daylight to spare. I headed to the office to get our competitor's pack while hubby parked the rig, and then we unloaded Paddy and got him settled in. Being a well-traveled Haffie, he was at home as soon as the hay net arrived.
A treat from Dad didn't hurt either...
After we unloaded a few things, I tacked up and took Paddy for a tour.
Blurry ear shot of the warmup.
He was pretty good - spent a little time looking around but didn't do any of his usual screaming, thank goodness. We rode for about 30 minutes, then gave him a quick bath before heading out for dinner and THE BEST MARGARITAS EVER OMG.
It was quick, it was tense. He wasn't really listening to me very well. Still, we managed to squeak out a 63.099%, which I will take any day of the week. I decided that we needed a bit longer warmup, and I needed to make sure he was REALLY on my aids before we went in for our next test. We had a couple of hours before our next test, so we took him back to his stall, let him relax, and got a handwalk/graze in.
Between test hand walking and snacking. We were 3rd of 5.
The humans also got a nap in.
Training Test 3 was at 2:10. This time, I allowed 40 minutes for warmup. We spent a full 20 minutes walking out, and I think that really helped him loosen up. He's not used to being in a stall all the time, so a long warmup was good. The warmup itself went GREAT - he was really listening and we had some beautiful moments and excellent transitions. Unfortunately, as soon as we went down to the far end of the arena, he fell apart. Our test began with us barging up centerline and things going downhill from there. Here are some highlights from the video...
X was... somewhere back there...
Charging across the arena, hollow and stiff.
Bolting down the long side in canter.
I hear that leaning back helps loads when you're trying to get a downward transition (NOT).
"Free to look around with your head in the air" walk
And here's the actual video, if you want to see the carnage:
So, that was worth a 60.9 (8th of 8). I was pretty disappointed - our warmup was SO GOOD, and the test was SO BAD. Where had I gone wrong? Hubby and I discussed, and agreed that he really fell apart when we got down by A, just before we came in. We decided that the next day I would do a couple of 10 meter figure 8s down there before the bell, to get him focused and back on my aids before going in. Alas, horses do not always stick with the plan...