Next, I started a serpentine, heading right on the outside circles and left in the middle part. When I reach the P-V(or S-R on the way back) I asked for the canter transitions. My transitions are getting a lot better and more immediate, which is good. I rode several serpentines, then headed across the diagonal of the arena to change directions, making a serpentine the other way. I did the same thing, this time cantering the right for the middle part. Since I would be jumping later that lesson, Meghan had me hold my two-point for the canter part and for several trot steps. I'm getting better at holding my two-point trotting, though it took a little bit to find my balance in the canter until I put my hands more forward as I remembered from a previous lesson. Now that I've done a lot of cantering throughout my lessons, I am much more comfortable at that gait.
Once I had done some canter work, I began the Training Level Test that I am working on, test 1. The upward and downward transitions were better than last time, which is good, but I need to work on relaxing a bit more and not rushing through the test. As Meghan said, my test time at a show is my time in the arena, so I can take my time. For the second half of the test, after going across the diagonal from F to H at the walk, I focused on taking my time, not cutting corners, and making the 20 m circles the correct size. This part went better. I also found that I'm better at controlling Chester's fast canter tempo.
|Chester decides the jump is too small and steps over it.|
|Here's how the course looked like. Note: Image not subject to scale; it's just a picture to give you an idea how it looked.|
I rode through it several times at the trot without any jumps in it. After both Anica and I had gone through it several times, Meghan began adding one jump at a time until there were four jumps, two cross rails and a small vertical that was a foot and a half to two feet(all the jumps were about that range; I'm just estimating.
|More like jumping! This looks like the slightly bigger one.|
After going through the course quite a few times, I started cooling Chester out. He had been bumping several of the jumps with his hind end, which we suspect is because he is sore from all the times he has been out this week. He was even more sore Saturday, but he should be okay after a day off.