Yet another great day! I really feel lucky to be able to take away lots of positives from each test. First of all, we got the plaits back in, and they looked a bit better that last night’s attempt. I was a bit worried on the hack down and had visions of the blasted bands one by one pinging off! Happily they all stayed relatively in tact Looking at the video, I think they look much better than unplaited so we’ll definitely plait every time from now on.
So my plan for today was to do the test without Claire calling it for me. I was unsure of how this would go, as it will be the third time I’ve done this test at a competition, so I should know it by now. I was concerned that I would get stage fright and go blank, but it would need to be done at some point and nothing ventured, nothing gained!! The other aim for today was to show some of the inside bend that we’ve been working on.
Saf felt calmer again in the warm up, despite it being quite busy. We did some work, then came out and stood in the shade until the warm up cleared out, then went back in. Happily for me, it so hot we could ride without jackets. Once I came down the centre line and remembered to turn left, the whole test just started to slot into place. It really couldn’t have gone any better in terms of me remembering it, and having time to plan each movement. Saf got a bit stroppy with me in the free walk, which she hasn’t done since 2012, which mainly consists of her tossing her head around. Even the canter felt nice (by her standards!) and I actually felt like I was enjoying it. I think we have the halt thing sorted as well When I left the arena, Phil Upperlochton Fergus – The Hot Blooded Highland was smiling and hadn’t clawed her own eyes out in disgust, which I took a good thing.
As you can see from the test sheet, there are NO ‘incorrect bend’ comments! Really pleased with the result – 59.16%, which although isn’t exactly earth shattering, is a 4% increase on the last time we did P14 with the same judge (April and May P14 we scored 55.2% with today’s judge). Video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bv6ls4xE6zc