August 26, 2011: Went to the Woodwind Farm Horse Trails this weekend -- our second attempt at the Pre-Training level. While far from perfect, things went well.
Our dressage mark of 58% was good enough for last place (!) but while it wasn't great, it wasn't terrible either. Gamble didn't shy at the dressage ring this time, which is progress, but I didn't have him marching enough at the walk, and he wasn't being pushed into the bit enough at the trot. See my dressage test sheet here and the video here:
In stadium jumping, we refused the first fence -- lots of scary bright flowers at the base of the fence -- and then got around okay for the remaining part of the course -- including a 2-stride and a 3-stride combination. Just knocked one pole. But we made it to cross country! Video here:
In cross country, we had one refusal at #5 (birch poles) and I got lost. The refusal was just a lack of experience on Gamble's part -- although I'm going to practice keeping my whip at the ready in case I feel him slowing down. And getting lost was obviously my fault -- I should have spent more time studying the video I'd taken while walking the course. Watch XC from my Contour GPS helmetCam here:
August 26, 2011: Lots more training between last post and today. Tracy has been working lots with him on dressage and he is becoming much more round, and transitions are much smoother. Lots more to do -- particularly getting into lateral work -- but definite progress.
We did some combination fences today as well and took him up to 3'3" with one non-jumping stride between today. No issues -- he loves to jump!
August 9, 2011: Practiced pre-training test 2 in preparation for the horse trials at Woodwind in 19 days. Need to work on lots of things, but especially downward transitions and the free walk (getting him to stretch down).
August 8, 2011: We gave Gamble a bit of a break today. Tori road him and I took Dolly up the side of the field at a canter, and then we crossed the river on the trails and went down the trails on the south side of the river back to the barn. Then Tori popped him over 7 low fences. He was fine on all counts - relaxed even.
August 7, 2011: We did an Event at Cedar Run today. Just at Entry level in order to get Gamble some more stadium and XC experience at the lower heights. Overall it went well. I wasn't happy with the dressage portion [Dressage test - 60%] -- he kept looking to the outside at the scary dressage ring -- but the stadium and cross country portions were flawless. He hesitated in both jumping phrases at the first couple of jumps, but then he got comfortable with everything and it went along great!
Dressage and Show Jumping Video:
Cross Country Video (including Contour GPS Helmet-Cam):