Rhythm is getting back in shape and we are plugging right along. Our first horse show is going to be March 10th. We are planning to debut and 1st level which should be pretty doable. We had a lesson tonight and worked on several things from our first level test along with some 2nd level movements. I need to work to solidify some of the "easier" stuff such as nailing our transitions. I'm guess sing that Rhythm will be fairly looky at the show since he hasn't been taken out much and tends to be a bit spooky anyway. Hopefully I can keep him tuned in enough to put in a good test. We are certainly capable of the work, I just need to be able to put it all together. Tonight our main focus was getting him in front of my leg, relaxed through his back and soft in the bridle. He is not an easy horse to ride and resorts to dragging his rider around with the bit. This makes it very tempting to yard back on him when he is doing that. Instead, I need to work to ride him from my seat and legs with a giving hand to encourage him to seek and elastic contact.
We began working on straightening him out in the canter and being able to maneuver him around in a shallow loop. This is the start of counter canter and is something we will be doing in our first level test. Once we move up to second level we have to be able to do a 3 loop serpentine at the canter with the middle loop being counter canter. Our trot lengthenings have definitely lost some ground over the past couple months but that's mainly due to the fact the Rhythm was hurt and I have not been pushing them. They improved quite a bit from the start of the lesson to the end.
His traver is getting much better and we got a few steps of half pass tonight! My troubles getting it tracking left are just that, my troubles. You can see in the video (and I can feel) that I just get left behind and am sitting out to the right instead of to the left. Once I was able to pull myself together we got it. He has made huge progress with that in the past month and it's been neat see that improved every ride.