Monday, August 4, 2014

Lesson #120: First Foray into "Training Level Test A"

Happy Civic long weekend, to my Canadian friends! It is a nice temperate summer weekend and most of the city is away at their cottages or otherwise. I'm sticking around and had a lesson Sunday morning. I'm riding Bons again and we're working on training level dressage tests today.

Our warm-up consists of the usual trot and today, I didn't have any issues getting into the posting (hooray!). For the remainder of the lesson, we worked on this dressage training level test. We are told that Cadora Inc. makes tests for a provincial level of dressage. Everyone gets the same list of tests and when you show/compete, you will have the same selection of test as everyone else. The expectation also includes the rider to memorize the test but they may request to have a caller.

A standard dressage ring looks like this:
We start entering from A at working trot and then halt, immobile and salute at X. The immobile part is a requirements of 3 full seconds of immobility. Then we continue forward in a working trot towards C. From there, we track left in trot to K and continue A to F and then make a change of rein through X to H. And here's where things start to fall apart for me: between H and C, I am to initiate a working canter into a 20m circle. I've always had difficulty with initiating canter and it's probably because when I'm so focused with doing everything else, I think it but I don't get my legs to translate my thoughts. But, good thing Bons is obedient and just does as he's asked to when I try it again. It isn't completely miserable but it isn't great either. The rest of it isn't too bad but the canter departs continued to be something I struggled with. +ADW on the other hand, did wonderfully with his buddy Molson and the pair looked like real pros.

It's the first try at the test so we weren't working on anything other than just getting the transitions in. Right now, everything is coming at me pretty fast. Next week we'll add in the bending and other fine-tuning like getting Bons collected when we're making tighter turns because riding this boy is like driving an 18-wheeler. All our turns were over but if I didn't, then they were not enough turned in and we ended up stomping over the pylon.

This week's homework is to memorize the test before Thursday's lesson. I think it's very possible because I've downloaded an app for that! I'll input the test and then play it over and over again. For me, learning visually is the best way for me so it should work out just fine.

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