Greetings from the new blog site! Due to our move, we have been offline for a while and I have so much to write about from the break that I don't even know where to begin.
Spring is in the air (finally). The longer daylight hours have meant longer training days, horses are starting to shed their winter coats and the show season is upon us - all for better and worse ;)
In between all of this, I managed to squeeze in C Session of my "L" Program. Tracey Lert was a great instructor for the session. The most important things I took home from this session:
1. Always keep an eye on the gaits. Remember that a horse's gaits may become irregular in the middle of the test and it is not fair to give that horse a score for that movement/gaits that does not take that into account.
2. "Gait's Law" (I invented this): A horse will become irregular in his gaits just when you stop watching the gaits for a few strides. (see important thing #1)
3. Second Level requires collection. The coefficient of 2 movements in Second Level are given to work that requires collection. Many horses that have a lot of movement in front appear to be high scoring during the test because they have bend in their lateral work and do all the movements on the letter. However, lack of collection is a major issue that will prevent outstanding scores - it goes into each movement score, as well as the collective marks.
4. "Rider needs to ride the horse into a more elastic connection to allow for a more supple back. Work towards a more uphill balance for more freedom of the shoulder."
5. Accuracy - consider it the icing on the cake. If you have a good cake, it can be the deal breaker. If you have a bad cake, icing can only cover up so many problems.