Thursday, March 31, 2016

Alfredo Hernandez, Day 3: Piaffe and passage

The moment you've all been waiting for... piaffe and passage! I mean, that's why we all sign up to ride with Alfredo, right?

It was honestly kind of anti-climactic. It's not like a horse that's never done those movements before is instantly going to be able to do 15 steps of brilliant piaffe with a rider on board. It's also not how you train that sort of thing. I was lucky to be able to watch Alfredo work with a number of horses over the course of the clinic, and his method was simple - you ask until you get the response you're looking for, and then you immediately reward. In some cases, I watched him warm a young horse up in the round pen, then ask once for 2-3 steps of piaffe, and that was it for the whole session. Literally, a 10 minute longe session with perhaps 5-10 seconds of asking for piaffe, getting a few steps, then immediately done.

It's kind of an interesting concept for those of us who ride and think "that circle was great, just ONE MORE and I'll be done..." and things start to fall apart. The take-away for me was, shorter session and more rewards when it's right.

My lesson started out with more in-hand work, this time with turns on the haunches as well as turns on the forehand. The goal was to get Taran stepping under and stepping around, with quick transitions  ("No stopping! Why are you stopping!!") between the two. I found it hard to keep Taran's feet moving AND be correct with my aids AND make sure he's correct. More practice is definitely needed on this - Alfredo made it look easy because his timing is so amazing, and I struggled so much.

At the end of our in-hand work, Alfredo took Taran and asked for piaffe along the rail. I didn't get the whole video, but Taran was confused about what he wanted so the first 10 seconds or so weren't very pretty ('Trot but don't move forward, WHAT? You crazy, mister!'). However, Alfredo kept asking and letting him take a few walk steps when he got a bit too tight, and eventually this happened:

Don't blink, you'll miss it.

No really, it happened! Alfredo is already rewarding him.

Next up was ridden work. We kept it to walk and trot as before, and really just focused on him being round and through. We had some sticky bits (being round and through is HARD!), which we addressed by making him move his haunches (which is HARDER!), but we ended on a really good note, as we had on day two. I need to remember to keep the trot slow and round, and if he doesn't bend when asked, think haunches out.

Moving the haunches creates some really spectacular laterals that I didn't know we could do. I don't think Taran knew he could do this either, lol!

A short clip of the end of the ride - this was after about 5 minutes of ridden w/t work

So fancy. Sorry about the ponytail, Aimee. My hair thingy failed halfway through.

As our grande finale, we took a few minutes to work on passage. Taran started off REALLY skeptical about this pole that was in his way, but Alfredo just encouraged him to keep moving forward and gently tapped his shins. You can see him starting to get with the program about halfway down the long side of the arena.

We walked for a bit, and then Alfredo asked me to trot:

Obviously we're not doing this at the FEI levels any time soon, but Taran got the idea and it was SUPER cool to ride! I think as he gets stronger in his back and more able to sit and step under himself, he'll find this easier to do. At this stage, we're just sort of playing with the concept. 

How many people does it take to get a horse to passage? 

I've got a few more thoughts to share on riding with Alfredo (including a cool way to teach changes), but this post is already long. In short, he's very demanding of the riders but so rewarding to the horses, and we made some really big breakthroughs. I will definitely be signing up to ride with him again when he comes back!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Alfredo Hernandez, Day 2: It's all about the groundwork

I was really looking forward to our second ride with Alfredo - I felt like we really pushed through some things on the first ride, and couldn't wait to make more progress. So I admit that I was a little disappointed when we started out with groundwork - I mean, we're past that, right? It's not like Taran needs to be longed or anything before I get on.

Only, this was a different kind of ground work. What Alfredo wanted was for the horse to perform a turn on the forehand (more or less), stepping under very actively with the inside hind leg while softening to the bit. Written like that it sounds so easy, but I struggled so much with this. You have to stand just so. You have to stay strong in your core, keep your arm in the right place. Use of the whip must be judicious and perfectly timed. You have to feel the moment when the horse is correct, then push for another step or two, then stop. Alfredo is very, VERY big on rewarding the horse with a walk on a long rein, immediately, when he's done the right thing - and you really have to stay on your toes and pay attention to know when it's right. I should also point out that this kind of groundwork can be pretty athletic for the rider too, because I was definitely puffing at the end of our short session.

Alfredo makes it look easy. Me, not so much.

When I was finally allowed to mount up, I immediately noticed that Taran felt different. He was MUCH more active behind, and more through over his back. He was also very quick off my aids, something that I've been struggling with quite a lot (pony club kicking is generally frowned upon to get your "first-level" horse to trot, did you know?). When I gathered up the reins ("REINS SHORTER!!!!") and asked for inside bend, he was much faster to comply. I was able to get him rounder and he was much steadier into the bend, deeper and rounder, and more solid in the contact than on the first day.

Look at my horse. My horse is so fancy. Do not look at me. I'm leaning back so much.

I don't think Taran knew he could look like this.

One thing that became really clear to me is how fake the left bend can be. My trainer is FOREVER on me about bending him too much to the left, even though I swear from the saddle he doesn't SEEM like he's bent at all (especially compared to the right). What he really does is crank his neck over without bending through his body, and I let go of the outside (right) rein to attempt to get more bend. Alfredo kept yelling at me to use more outside rein and open my inside hand, and I finally got to see what fake bend vs real bend looks and feels like. Lightbulb moment! I'm sure my trainer is doing a facepalm about now.

Not actually bent to the left, despite the fact that his ear is even with my knee. 

Our ride actually ended up being quite short with a lot of walk breaks, but it felt really productive because we further solidified what we'd worked on the first day, and the added element of ground work made me feel like I had a really impressive new tool to help me out. SO much winning!

Here's some video from the end of our ride where we're awesome.

I'm now a ground work convert.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Alfredo Hernandez, Day 1: "Oh, you CAN ride!"

How many of you would like to learn how to piaffe and passage? C'mon, fess up. You know you would, and so would I. Which is why I jumped at the chance to ride in a clinic with Alfredo Hernandez last weekend - his specialty is training these movements! Obviously I don't have any horses ready to go at a level where pi/pa are required, but Megan assured me that it didn't matter, and encouraged me to sign up anyway. Hubby decided that he wanted to ride too (taking lessons from another man can be, er, enlightening, as he put it), so we wrote a rather large check and planned for the clinic.

The beginning of my first lesson was quite embarrassing. Alfredo asked what level we were riding, I said Training just moving up to First. He said he'd watch us warm up for a few minutes, so I started walking Taran around on a loose rein. Naturally, he went to full-on giraffe mode while I futilely asked him to pay attention and consider walking long and low. Alfredo called us over, and then proceeded to ask me basic questions like which rein was the inside rein and how did I ask for bend. Talk about feeling like a noob. He had me shorten my reins WAY up, take my inside hand out about a foot from his neck to ask for bend, and off we went.

The main themes of the first day were:

  • SHORTER REINS. Seriously. I felt like my reins were about 6 inches long but after looking at the video, they were fine. My regular trainer is on me all the time about shorter reins, and I think I get the idea of just how short they really need to be now!
  • Don't give up the contact. Alfredo had me put the reins where I wanted them and then push Taran up into it. As he put it, imagine you are side reins, the horse has to give to you, not the other way around. I am definitely guilty of throwing the contact away, and it's also something my trainer calls me on a lot. I had a lot more contact than I usually have... not sure how I feel about that, although I was able to lighten up as the weekend went on and Taran got with the program more. 
  • Slow down. I need this tattooed on Taran's ears. Fast is not forward. I KNOW this, but I don't always ride this. Sloooooowwwww dooooooowwwwwwwwnnnnn.
  • Don't quit too soon. Another thing my trainer says to me all the time. Wait till you have it, then wait a few steps more until you're SURE you have it. Then walk and reward. I have a bad habit of going "hey look we are together!" and then I throw the contact away and/or quit riding. Not terribly effective.
  • Round and deep. This was a theme all weekend. At times I felt like we were too deep (that is, BTV), but again, looking at the video he's really just deep in his neck. Keeping his neck down is something we've been working on, so maybe this is just the slightly more extreme version of what I've been asking for at home? 
More rounder. More deeper. And to the left, too!

After trotting for a short time and following Alfredo's instructions ("More bend! MORE! Inside LEG! Deeper! Yes, beautiful!"), he called for a walk break and mumbled something like, "Oh, you actually CAN ride" before moving on to change directions. I felt like I'd made up a little bit for our awful start, since I was able to put Taran together with his instructions. We actually talked a little bit about that, and I said that I ride much better when I have someone telling me what to do. He said that I need to be more demanding of my horse, and hold myself accountable for every transition, every turn, every step. And he's right.

Taran objects to how hard this was. I objected too, by whining about how out-of-shape I am.

We also discussed rider fitness. He said that I was really quite strong (!?!?!) but that I need to up my cardio if I want to progress. This is something I've been thinking about recently, so I need to figure out a program to improve. 

We look fancy and engaged, but maybe a bit stuffed and tense? Thoughts? (Yes, I need to get my shoulders back. Dammit.)

I was super excited about my first lesson - we made some major breakthroughs and although he said exactly the same things my regular trainer says, he was just more demanding and in turn I rode better. I also had a lot to think about in terms of my riding and how Taran goes when I change it up. No pi/pa, but we still had two days to go! 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The strange case of the escaped Haffie

Last night when I pulled up to the house after work, I immediately noticed something was amiss: Paddy was standing OUTSIDE our perimeter fence, in the greenbelt. Taran and Brego were standing right next to the fence on the track, keeping him company.

I couldn't grab his halter fast enough, and sprinted to get him. Was he hurt? How had he gotten out? How long had he been out? OMG WAS HE HURT??????

I don't have any pictures of him standing on the wrong side of the fence, because I was panicking and generally I don't take pictures when I'm panicking. As I ran to him, he started walking toward me, ears pricked as if to say, "Hi! I'm not sure what I'm doing here, but can you take me home now?" There was no blood. There were no scrapes. Our 5 foot perimeter fence was up. The 5 foot high front gate (our only gate) was closed.

But Paddy had gotten out.

As I walked him back to the barn, I called Fuzzypony. She had come out at 1 to pull Taran's sheet, and she confirmed that Paddy was in the barn at 1, and that she had closed the gate when she left. The gate was still closed when I got home at 5, so he hadn't been out for longer than 4 hours, which was good. Still, there's a lot of lush grass on the greenbelt, so I called the vet to ask what to do in case of founder. One dose of banamine later, and a (confused) Haffie locked safely in a deeply bedded stall, and I was able to spend some more time on the puzzle.

At first, I thought that Paddy had jumped over the perimeter fence from the track. But then I found a pile of manure on our front sidewalk, and I discovered that our interior fence charger had died (it was old, they tend to do this, a new one is on order). It was pretty clear that Paddy had slipped through the interior track fence into the back pasture, then wandered around the side of the house to the driveway.

But how had he gotten from there to the greenbelt?

I went to look at the tracks on the greenbelt. There was a single set of tracks through the tall grass, from the street back to where Taran and Brego were standing. There was a small patch of grass about 10x20 where it was clear Paddy had been and had lain down for a nap. Otherwise, there were no tracks in or out of that little patch. He'd clearly gone from the street back to his buddies, then stayed right next to them until I came to get him.

There are times when having a really herd-bound horse can be a good thing!

Based on the tracks in the grass, it's pretty clear that Paddy did NOT jump the perimeter fence. Instead, he went over or through the gate, east down our street, then around the side of our place to the greenbelt. I can't think of a single reason he'd jump the gate - his buddies were in the back, and he'd not willingly leave them - plus he had plenty of grass right where he was! Besides, he's athletic, but I don't think he's athletic (or motivated) enough to jump a 5' gate.

Which means that somebody opened it for him. (Normally, the gate requires a code, but yesterday the batteries were being charged so anyone could have opened it manually.)

Apparently not as much of a deterrent as expected.

Here's the thing. Nobody was at our house between when Fuzzypony left at 1 and when I got home at 5. I called our neighbors and they hadn't seen anything. However, one neighbor mentioned that he'd found one of their donkeys out in the greenbelt a few weeks ago. Same story - all fences up, all gates closed. In 35 years of living in their house, nothing like that has ever happened.

So somehow, two equids with no history of escaping, no fences down, no gates opened, have escaped in the last month. That's pretty suspicious... and rather scary. I'm just glad everyone was returned home quickly and nobody got hurt.

All Haffies present and accounted for. And hungry.

Soooo... anyone got any recommendations for a wireless security camera?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Brego: coming soon to a book cover near you

Last week, hubby and I took Brego to a big medieval reenactment event in Mississippi. 

Always a great traveler.

This event happens every year, and last year was Brego's first time. At that point, he didn't have a lot of experience jousting or doing any of the other medieval games, and he struggled a bit with all the new stuff.

This year, he pretty much owned the place.

Practice run down the jousting lane.

Brego and Buttons the Jousting Mule compare ear sizes. 

Hubby was in the finals for mounted combat, and did great in the jousting as well. His targeting was a bit off, but Brego did his job and his runs were foot-perfect.

Mounted combat melee. Brego looks even more fierce in a chamfron, no?

Brego was also a star in mounted procession. A lot of the folks that ride in the procession aren't horse people, so calm horses are greatly appreciated. Brego was very careful with his rider and didn't bat an eye at all the exciting stuff going on.

Hubby leads Brego in the procession with a novice rider on board.

But the most exciting part? Brego was the star of a book cover photo shoot! The lady who was modeling for the cover had never been on a horse before and was SO EXCITED to sit on Brego, we almost couldn't get her off when the shoot was done! Brego did his part and stood rock still while pricking his ears (mostly) and looking at the camera, or staring off into the distance, as required. Maybe he's not as cute as Paddy, but he definitely does the intimidating war horse thing well.

Me taking a picture of the photographer taking a picture.

We'll get a copy of the book when it's printed, which is so exciting! Brego... even more famous than he was before!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Taran's MEDIUM (?) TROT(!!!)

Sorry for the blog silence... I set up blogger to post while I was off doing jousting things but it didn't, so oh well. More on Brego later!

I mentioned a while ago that I'd found Taran's big trot while we were chasing Brego out on a trail ride. Since then, I've been asking him for a little more trot every time we work, and we're starting to actually get it! And then Friday, it all clicked together and we got this:




Here's the video: 

I can't even tell you how excited I am about this! It's the first time I've really ever felt something that might be approaching a medium trot (maybe? I wouldn't know lol!) and it just feels. So. Awesome. 

I'm doing something in my head that is really helping me ride this movement, because you'll see that I'm struggling to stay in balance with him. You know how Charlotte du Jardin looks in extended trot?She's looking up, her shoulders are back, chest open, hands up a little. She's clearly riding him UP into the trot, and not DOWN into a bigger step (like you would a stretchy trot), which is how I previously tried to ride lengthen trot. I don't want to bury Taran on his forehand, so I'm picking my hands up and forward a touch and envisioning "offering" him the reins on a platter, while keeping the contact steady (no pulling! no dropping the contact! ack!). This is SUPER HARD for me because it means I have to be soft in my arms and very balanced through my body while riding this huge step I'm not used to. Keeping my body up and open seems to be key too, because otherwise we lose the connection and I can feel his hind end trailing behind. It's a fine line to surf, but OMG... when it works, it's SUCH an amazing feeling! 

Now, if we can just do this in front of a judge, on MXK...

Friday, March 11, 2016

You might think it's funny, but it'snot

No seriously, 'snot. Thanks Brego.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

March Taran confo shots - he looks like a different horse!

Dec 23 2015

Feb 1 2016

March 6 2016

I didn't think there would be that much of a difference in the last month, but HOLY COW. Taran's got butt muscles on top of his butt muscles. His withers actually look HIGHER than his croup (whoa!), which is no longer sharp and pointy. Somehow he seems to have filled out underneath AND on top. He even looks like he's standing more balanced. He still has that weird lumpy muscle under his neck, but it's disappearing rapidly - and he seems to be filling in more in front of his shoulder. He's still got a long way to go with muscling right in front of his wither, but that will always be a challenge because of how low his neck is set. Still, it's filling in!

And just for funsies, here are some pictures of how his trot has changed:

Jan 27 2016

Feb 10 2016

March 5 2016

I can't even believe he's the same horse!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Dressage show outtakes

When you're getting ready for the show:
Eyes on stalks.

Shed everything.

When you try to ride in warmup:
Horse looks amazing. Rider looks like WTF.

When you try to ride a stretchy trot circle:
I'm sure that's exactly what the judge is looking for.

When you try to have lunch:
Hard cider totally counts as a serving of fruit.

When you try to do canter depart at C:


Tail swish. Note judge's expression.

When you try to get your horse to pose cutely after a very long show weekend:
Give me the damn carrot and I promise not to hurt anyone. Much.

No I will not put my ears forward for your stupid pic. Also get these ribbons off my face.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Emerald Classic II - Bronze Medal Score

Have you ever been to a show where you feel really sick at your stomach because you're not 100% sure you can rock your classes? Or, have you been to a show where you felt really prepared, and totally ready to strut your stuff? That was me Sunday. I knew there were going to be sticky spots (free walk and stretchy trot, which are OF COURSE the coefficients), and I knew I'd really have to ride, but I felt like we were ready and we could really DO this.

Taran felt a little stiff and tired, but I'd planned for lots of walk warmup and that seemed to help. Despite this being his first rated show, he once again handled the traffic in the warmup arena like a pro. Looking at our warmup video for the second day, he wasn't as through his back and he was a bit heavier in my hand, but we had great canter transitions and felt like we were ready to rock T3.

T3, 65.000%

It was an accurate test, but he wasn't as through or as focused, and we were too quick in the trot. The trot and canter transitions that had been so good in warmup fell apart in the sandbox. There was something fascinating outside the arena over by H, and every time we were anywhere near there, he wanted to check it out. And, you may not be able to tell from the videos, but I was really having to kick him to keep him going. The free walk and stretchy trot weren't horrible (by Taran standards), but this judge was also a bit less generous than the one on Saturday, so we got (rightfully) dinged harder. We finished with a score of 65.000% for 3rd place -which was still good enough to qualify us for the championships. Goal #1 completed!

Those dang coefficients will kill you every time. Also those stupid transitions. YU so hard?

After that, it was a four hour wait until 1-1. I got a second breakfast (I looove having our camper on site, it's just so convenient!), studied my test, watched the videos from the morning, and planned my ride. I got on right on schedule and started my warmup. 

The problem with the last ride of the weekend is that everyone's tired. You're tired, your horse is tired, the judge is tired, and people scratch. Taran was heavy and suddenly, he forgot how to canter on the left lead. We blew 2 left lead canter departs in warmup, something we haven't done in about two months. I made sure to set him up for a good one, and then we spent most of the rest of the warmup doing free walk/medium walk transitions. He felt tired but obedient and supple, and I ran through the test in my head one last time.

1-1. My first time at First Level at a rated show. One for the books!

Things started out well enough. Our stretchy trot circle sucked, but that wasn't a surprise. I thought our first trot lengthening, (S-F, San Francisco, thanks Jen!) was pretty good, and he came back well. The free walk was as meh as usual. And then things fell apart with the free/medium walk transition - what was so great in warmup didn't go very well in the sandbox. But, I kept my hand forward and rode him forward instead of pulling back, and the trot transition - while not great - wasn't horrible either. Unfortunately, our prompt and accurate canter transition was on the wrong damn lead. I fixed it as quickly as I could, but we immediately had a lengthen canter down the long side, and got dinged hard for being up-and-down instead of ground covering. Then we had a slight discussion about how big the circle at V was supposed to be, and THEN he wanted to quit on me somewhere around C, so we careened around the corner and a rather unbalanced heap. However, we made it to our transition at X in one piece, and the right lead canter work wasn't too terrible - if you can forgive the levade-and-tail-flip-into-canter transition right in front of the judge. I'm fairly sure you can see the horrified look on her face in the video, if you squint. We did actually get a few strides of lengthen canter, and he came back to me pretty well on the 15 meter circle. Our last trot lengthening started out with nothing, but I kept my hand up and kept asking, and I think the second half of it was pretty good (for him). 

Woohoo, a 4.5 on the canter transition, which OF COURSE was a coefficient of 2. Not the movement you want to suck at. Also, apparently I didn't do the first trot lengthening? Although on video, it happened.

That is as lengthened as we get.

... and the rest of it.

Final comments involved needing more freedom and suppleness in his back. Yup and yup. It's what my trainer said to me - "get his back". Obviously I need more of that.

Our score was a 61.296 (for 2nd of 2, lol) - definitely not as high as I wanted, but then, it wasn't the test that I wanted either. Considering how many big mistakes we made, it's more than fair. But the best part is, IT'S OUR FIRST SCORE TOWARD A BRONZE MEDAL. Centerline scores doesn't have this weekend's results up yet, but I'm excited that soon I'll see part of that little medal filled in!

Yes, I realize it's a low score on the easiest test possible that actually counts toward a medal. But it's something I've dreamed about doing since I first heard about the medal program over 15 years ago... and now I've taken the first real step down that path. So while it is a small accomplishment in the grand scheme of things, for me personally it's really very big - and something I'm thrilled to have finally made happen.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Emerald Classic I - Sometimes all the hard work pays off

Showing last year was very much a struggle for me. Paddy's adorable and all, but he has some very fundamental issues with tempo and balance that make him a very physical, tricky ride. I put in an enormous amount of time and effort and training and the best we were able to do was a 66%, under a super nice judge.

On Saturday, Taran and I scored a 70.962, on our first test.  And a 67.727 on our second one. I can't even tell you how excited I am and how much it feels like I'm finally "getting it" - even if it's not on my own horse.

Training level test 2 - 70.962.

Score sheet for T-2

Training level test 3 - 67.727

Score sheet for T-3

You'll notice the canter break in T-3. He was tired, and I lost his hind end. I should have ridden him through it a bit more, but hind sight is ever 20/20. Interestingly, we got a 5.5 on that instead of the 4 that I thought we were supposed to get for the break. Still, I'll take it.

Taran was SO AMAZING in warmup. So forward, so fluid. We even had really good canter transitions! Of course, he didn't feel as good in the sandbox, because I get rather stiff in my arms in when I'm nervous. I also have a tendency to revert to my pulling habit, instead of pushing him forward into the bridle, if things start to go south - and we all know how that helps absolutely no-one. If I think about maintaining the tempo and carrying my hands up and forward, it works so much better.

We totally won the warmup.

He doesn't even look like the same horse from a few months ago.

We ended up getting first in T-2 and second for T-3 - and if I hadn't blown the canter we would have likely been first. Even better, the T-3 score was good enough to qualify for both the SWDC championships and the GAIC championships. What a fantastic day - I couldn't have asked for any more!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Show goals

I've been reading some riding-related sports psychology books in hopes of upping my game. One thing I took away is to focus on one or two things in your ride - really focus on those, and make those happen.

For this show, I want to focus on keeping a steady rhythm (i.e. not rushing, especially in the trot),  REALLY prepping for and riding the transitions, and not getting grabby with my left hand. The first one is easy - if I feel like Taran is trotting too slow, we're perfect (apparently I'm used to a quick Haffie trot, who knew?). The third one is easy too - I just need to remember to push my left hand forward every so often and give, because if Taran is hollow, it's because I'm holding to much with that rein. The second one, though, is much more of a challenge.

In the downward transitions, Taran sometimes does a sliding reining stop thing. It would be awesome if we were doing reining, but we're not, so I need to keep my leg ON (especially the inside leg, hello!) and look UP. It's OK if our downward transitions take a few steps, as long as it doesn't look like I'm about to catapult off over his ears because his shoulders just dropped two feet. For the upward transitions, well, we know the trot-canter transitions aren't going to be brilliant. They're a work in progress, but I need to ride them FORWARD and then recover as quickly as possible.

This would be nice.

But by far our hardest movement is in 1-1. We start with a free walk across the diagonal, then have to pick up the reins to a medium walk. Medium walk for 8 meters, then trot for about 12 meters, then canter. Did I mention this all happens right in front of the judge, AND that the free walk and trot/canter transitions both have a coefficient of 2? So I can really blow it here if I'm not careful. See, I have a tendency to pick up the reins and THEN put my leg on, which results in an inverted mess that I cannot fix in the short time I have before the canter. Instead, I need to shove him forward with my leg and seat the moment before picking up the reins from free walk to medium walk, and just keep asking for the forward through all three transitions. I had a really good set of transitions when I did the run-through in my Wednesday lesson, and if I put together a ride like that one, I'll be super happy.

Like this, please.

Really, I just want to put in a set of good, steady tests that are reflective of where we are right now in our partnership. Ribbons and scores are not so important as long as I feel like I've done a good job. BUT, in the event that we DO score well, here's what I'm hoping for:

  • 2 scores on our T-3 tests that qualify us for the regional championships (or heck GAIC championships too, why not)
  • 60%+ on 1-1 for the first score toward a bronze medal
Any satin will just be the icing on the cake... although, I've checked the number of entries in each class, and as long as we don't come in last place (or spook at a random flower pot and leap out of the arena - which, with Taran, is entirely possible), I should have some satin for the weekend.

I'm so excited to get out and show again! 

Paddy is even more excited that he gets to stay home and eat while I show.