Once Tarra was set, I began getting changed and we got Rhythm tack up. I spent a while walking on a long rein in our warm up. Rhythm took the crowded arena in stride. Several times we had to make a quick change of plans and he was great. Our first test was First level test 2. He was quite a bit more looky in the arena with me on him than when I was walking him around. I struggled to get him into the corners, especially near the judges stand. The arena was also quite a bit bigger than where we practice so I totally messed up some of our lines and one of our circles. Oops! This summer we are going to set up a full court arena on the grass at our barn. I think that will be really helpful. Some of the main things we need to work on are his shoulders not falling right, specifically in the halt, our canter transitions and the canter itself, and those darn leg yields!
I had about an hour between my first and second test so I got off and let Rhythm relax. With 25 minutes to go I hopped back on. He was definitely tired and I felt like I had trouble keeping him going and together. This test was in arena we hadn't been in yet. It's open on 3 sides, with the 4th side being open in the middle. The wind was blowing so hard it was buzzing through the middle, and there was a lovely piece of green plastic blowing around during our test. We crossed paths with it 2 or 3 times. Rhythm was a start and largely ignored it. As we were coming out of the arena the rider who was coming in commented on what a good boy he had been to not be bothered by it. We had many similar comments in this test. We've got to nail those canter transitions and get him more balanced in the canter. We also need more downward stretch in both our free walk and stretchy trot circles. We got a 60% on both tests.
Tarra and Mystic did fantastic with high scores and winning both of their classes. Another boarder from our barn did well with her horse earlier in the day. Team NDF represented well!
Overall I was super pleased with how good Rhythm was. Now we need to get back to work.
Video First level test 1 & 2