So since I last posted, I have done a dressage ribbon day and a jumping day and the picture above is the only picture I have of my own horse Tsar. He has been a superstar though. At the dressage day he did two level 1 tests, for a 63% and a 65%, for third and second, respectively. He was only second by 0.15%. He did two smooth tests, was really smooth though he is a bit above the bridle in the canter and wants to get a little deep in the trot. I rode for a bit more in the second test, and he is jumping into his canter transitions a little, but honestly at this point I'm going to need some help to make the step to level 2, because while I can produce a horse to travel straight and be soft and school the lateral work, its not quite what they want for dressage in terms of engagement etc.
At the jumping day Tsar again did the 80cm and the 90cm, he was pretty hot in the 80cm, but I stayed pretty quiet and kept asking for the extra stride and he had a rail but mostly jumped super. In the 90cm they added in this hideous filler and he wouldnt even walk up to it so I wasn't sure how that would go. The first line from 1 to 2 I gave him quite a strong check so I could just soften for the five strides to come up easier and he jumped really well, much more settled. He hesitated really briefly on the corner to the spooky fence, but then trucked down and jumped it super bravely, though he gave it plenty of air. Then was the jump-off and it was quite good I gave him the check, because I just had to sit up and not alter my contact and he collected so the five strides was super smooth.
I did a few inside turns and angled a few fences because it's easier to train this stuff while the fences are still small, but didn't really add any speed just let him roll around in a rhythm.
Charlie has made huge strides in his work mostly in the amount of engagement and forward he is giving me. He scored a 68% and a 69% in both the level 0 tests, so he is ready to move up to level 1. He was second in both those tests, and yes I got my butt whipped by a twelve yr old. The joys of level 0. I'm so bad at dressage so hunchy and showjumpy in my leg length.
At the jumping day, despite the fact he hadn't jumped for a month, he rocked around the 70cm and the 80cm easily. He has just reached the stage of knowing all the things but both times he buried himself at fence three and had an awkward jump and then after that jumped really really well, smooth and rhythmical. He has never consistently jumped 80cm and I couldn't have been happier with him. Still I have told his owner to lower his price and get him sold because he deserves to be in a home where he gets more time than I have for him.
And now because life is crazy, I'm doing something I swore I would never do because it can lead to hard hands, and you have to be so careful switching between codes with balance, and being tall in the saddle and long in the leg, but times are tight so I find myself doing trackwork and I goof off to it, its pretty cool but physically so hard. My muscles are screaming