Show Reports 2016 - Part 6: August-October: Head-to-Head

Let me sum up the last two shows as they were 7 weeks apart but at the same venue with more or less the same judges. We did a lot of work on the basics during these last 7 weeks and we could see some things work out way better than before. Still, not practicing the tests enough in advance resulted in some deductions due to forgetting my tests again! What a shame! Anyway, let's have a look at how things changed between mid-August and beginning of October.

The first test on Friday is the FEI Junior Rider Preliminary. In August, we scored 61.029%, in October 60.735%. One issue was me forgetting my test again in October. The highlights in August were the 10m circle on the left hand in trot, turn to the right and 10m circle on the right, shoulder in right, transitions between extended and collected trot, collected walk, left hand canter, medium canter, counter canter and the simple change as well as one of the flying changes and the final centerline. The 10m circles were good as well in October, the same goes for the collected walk, left-hand canter, counter canter, both flying changes this time and rider's seat (which also scored 6.5/7/6.5 in August).

The absolute low lights in August were the extended canter and the half passes. They were not more than 4s and 5s most of the time. We definitely improved on these as we at least scored 6s at max in October. The judges commented on the missing collection in canter in October (at least, most of the time we could keep a three beat instead of a slow four-beat) and bending in the half passes obviously. One judge wrote that we need to work on schwung and bending but that the test was well prepared. I cannot even comment anymore on the costly mistake of forgetting my test...

Saturday is Team Test day. In August, we scored 60.090%, in October 59.459%. Again, you would see a deterioration in the overall mark BUT this is again (!) thanks to forgetting my test. Ridiculous, isn't it? In August, judges commented that we need to work on the lateral movements as well as collection in canter. The canter was criticised in October, too. The difference is that I could feel during the test how good he cantered when I really rode the canter and how bad things turned when I stopped riding. That was such a major achievement in my understanding of how I make mistakes. The highlights in August were the medium walk, the walk pirouettes and the 10m circles in trot as well as one of the flying changes. In October, we rode a pretty good centerline as well as the 10m circles, the rein back got a 7 as well as the walk pirouettes (7/7/7 for the one to the right). Counter depart and two of the flying changes even scored above average marks. Extended trot, canter half pass and one of the flying changes were the absolute low lights. The half passes only scored 4s. The half passes were slightly better in October but we also missed a flying change and did a bad shoulder in and trot half pass to the left. Too bad. A lot of work to to bending although we can see slight improvements in trot already.

Last but not least, the indvidual test on Sunday. The result in August: 60%, in October: 61.009%. I could exactly see that I was riding more on Sunday as especially in October, it was the best result of the weekend. Earlier in May, we used to perform well on Friday and got worse and worse until Sunday. So at least this problem of Hafl and me getting tired is solved. I even rode him a second time every day and he just got better. In detail, 10m circles were good in August as well as the walk including all the pirouettes. Canter and some of the flying changes were good as well. Nothing new that the half passes were bad (close to not existant). Pretty much the same picture in October, where the half passes improved but we had a major mistake in one of the changes and another one was not clear enough. Overall, there were more and more movements which scored nicely. And then, it is really a pity that we made mistakes in the changes that he can do sooo well.

Unfortunately, none of the scores was at or above 62% which means that we will ride another show next week. At least, on the October show we won a consolation prize. Hafl will love his new boots. Still, that was a real good learning experience (even though it was an expensive one).

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