This also means that classes are fucking enormous. My First level tests have been averaging a dozen riders each time, and it's no different this weekend. Thank fuck that participants in Second dwindle by the time 2-3 rolls around because 2-1 is filled with about fifty riders (that might be the teensiest bit of an exaggeration, but not by much).
After yesterday's ride, I feel good about things. My horse is capable. 2-3 is well within his wheelhouse. If he can stay relaxed and soft, we have got this.
After Tuesday's ride, I was cackling in that, "My eyes are twitching because my brain is utterly broken and melted into useless, hopeless fucking goop." sort of way. If we don't have the relaxation, I have no horse.
No. Fucking. Horse. AT ALL.
Forget the lateral work, the added collection, the bigger step and sharper transitions. Forget a 20m circle, folks. A two inch inverted neck, chomping at the bit, and a jacked up sewing machine trot? Yeah, we got those!
But perspective, right? Find the good! The walk work will be there. The canter I can salvage 95% of the time. Trotting is only a third of the test after all. And then first impressions and collective marks for submission and whatnot. LOL IT WILL BE FINE.
Our first test of the weekend is, of course, 2-3 and it is, of course, in the spooky indoor. It's also under the same judge I already have a score from at Second which kind of takes the pressure off hopefully squeezing out that 60% since it won't count. The second try is in the outdoor which I'm hopeful will make things a little easier.
I'm going to do my very best to enjoy this regardless. In the grand scheme of being a relatively incompetent ammy rider, it's pretty fucking cool that this is the second horse I've brought up to Second level all on my lonesome. Good or bad, it's all come from me.
On top of that, the first horse I rode at this level was a psycho, beyond shittily conformed OTTB with a reputation for trying to exit the arena mid-test...who got me one score towards my bronze at this level already. The second horse is an OTTB with a ten mile long back and inchworm legs whose been off the track for eighteen months. I could be doing worse.
Now let's go win some non-yellow ribbons and not die of heat stroke!