I did a lot better job this time around in making sure I got to the show with enough time to tack up, and warm up before I was actually expected in the ring. I did so well that I even had time to give Gus a bath before we left that morning instead of the night before only to find him green again in less than 12 hours. This did mean that both the boy and I were up at the crack of dawn but it was worth it to have a pretty gray pony.
Even though I had enough time to put in a good long warm up, it was so hot that it just did not seem worth it. Again, Gus was so on in the warm up. Connected, focused, sharp. Now if we could only carry that into the ring. They were running about ten minutes early and while they stressed I didn’t need to go in until my ride time I didn’t see any reason not to get it over with. We have 99 problems but the warm up is not one of them.
I truly believe that I must have ridden the beginner novice B test before though I couldn’t find any evidence of it. Maybe it’s just one that JLE and I worked on but I found that I knew it really well and didn’t have any major problems. It’s actually a really easy test to ride and so much better than the Intro C test. I can’t believe they even use that test for Tadpole.
But I digress.
As we were trotting around the ring, Gus caught sight of someone standing on the rail taking pictures of him and spooked. Lovely. Here we go again. So it was a bit of a shock that as we did a few circles to reestablish bend and connection as they rang the bell that Gus came back! We trotted into that right, not quite straight, but at least willing and focused. I’ll take it.
The rest of the test was pretty much all of the same and we received 6.0 and 6.5s for almost every moment. I was so happy with the Gus Gus. I had some issues with the geography since I had been practicing in a full sized arena most of the week but nothing too major.
We also earned major points for our free walk which got a 7. Go Gus! And of course, as we all know, the free walk is a coefficient. The judge did think he could stretch more but was happy with his swing and relaxation.
But then we also lost major points with the right lead canter. The canter departure was fine but you do it right as you go into the corner off of the diagonal and that corner came up a LOT faster than I was expecting. I had to yank Gus around to stay in the ring and give a nice little kick to keep the canter. That got us a 5 and probably should have been lower. Oh well. Yay for nice schooling show judges.
But the halt was our real show stopper. Gus stayed connected to me and actually sort of used his hind end. I thought it was awesome and the judge agreed because she gave us an 8.
In the end, we got a 34.50 which, while maybe a little generous, didn’t seem too far off the mark. It was a much better score for what felt like a much better test. The winner scored a 34.25 so if we had only been a little more balanced in the corner… something to work on I suppose! This test makes me want to stick it out at BN just so I never have to ride Intro C again!