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We Are Flying Solo

May 12, 2011

Schooling For Schooling

Saturday is a local unrecognized CT. Which will also be our first foray into Training Level. My plan was to use it as a perfect prep for Virginia HT next week. It was all falling into place beautifully. I was even excited, EXCITED (probability of that happening: 1 in 10,000,000), about the Training Level Test B that we are to perform in VA; it suited Solo well and made him all supple and bendy.

Until I checked out the details of the class list for this weeks show.

We are doing Training Level Test A.

It's a completely different test with less bending, larger gaps between transitions, and the extended canter on a straightaway. I don't like it. Test B left me with a better horse at the end of it. Test A leaves me a horse who just wants to extend his canter all the way around the whole dang ring. He's really digging this extended gait thing.

We worked through Test A with P the Dressage Wonder Coach last night. I failed to make my brain focus (oooo, shiny!) and both Solo and I had a temper tantrum or two, but I came out with some tips to focus on for Saturday:

-Really use the corners to bend and package the horse, especially right before the extended trot diagonals.

-All the movements are short so even if Solo gets pissed, he'll get to do something different in about five or six strides.

-Make sure the medium walk marches forwards so we get a swinging free walk on the short diagonal.

-Don't let the 15 m circles get too big.

-Prep early for the left lead canter at M.


If I can pull off these six teensy little things, then I'll call it good. Even though it won't be the same test as next weekend, I think it will be some good ring mileage and a chance to also jump a Training stadium course before it really really counts.

The next two days will be Solo holidays so he hits Saturday rested and ready to rock. I make no predictions, but assuming I can get my brain to switch on, I am optimistic about our prospects for a decent go.


  1. YES!!!
    Really use your corners! I forget to ride the corners ALL the time - ANNOYING - but when I actually do remember to use them, I have a super wicked bendy supple horse!
    And as The Boss would say when you are riding your 15m circles: "KEEP TURNING!"
    You'll rock it - GOOD LUCK!