Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Consistency, Please

As everyone who shows their horse knows, it takes a huge amount of effort and a certain amount of good luck to make it to the summit of riding for six minutes in front of a judge at a dressage show. Delphi got marks everywhere from "good" (8) to "insufficient" (4). We are working to become more consistently through, with more engagement of the hindquarters and more thrusting power- with relaxation- in all gaits and paces.

For example, in the leg yield at Saturday's schooling show in first level test 4, judge Grace Harris gave the first leg yield to the left: "Fluid, but needs energy: 7 (Fairly Good)."
But leg yield right got: "No crossing shown: 4 (Insufficient)."

The transition to canter: "Hollow in depart: 5 (Marginal)" but the change of lead through trot was: "Few too many trot steps but straight and balanced: 7 (Fairly Good)."

The halt got: "Straight; balanced: 8 (Good).

In second level test two the walk work and halt/rein back got 7's (Fairly Good) while the travers ("too little angle" and "hollow- no angle or engagement") got 4's (Insufficient).

The first medium trot was: "hollow, losing rhythm: 5 (Marginal) but the second medium trot got: "lacks throughness: 6 (satisfactory)."

Delphi's gaits and my rider score were both 6 (Satisfactory).

Of course we're striving to improve our scores at the summit experience of shows while keeping in mind that it's the journey to the summit-and how we build on it- that really matters.