The title says it all: Pa, Ringo, and I drove out to Mount Holyoke College this morning for another go at the PSG. We had a great test, were rewarded with a 63.9%, and won our class! Wahoo!!
I was feeling pretty good after our month of steady work since GMHA and our great lesson last week, but I still wasn't really sure if we were up to scratch yet. At GMHA I felt like I rode the best I could and it wasn't good enough (this wasn't remotely as disappointing as it sounds--I was thrilled!--it just meant that I had more homework to do). So I really wanted to treat the show today like a schooling experience: I wanted to put my homework from my last show and last lesson to work, focus on my position, and ride as correctly as possible.
For things like the multiple changes, I knew that this might mean that we would make some mistakes today, because we've previously skated by through incorrect technique and are now re-learning how to do it the right way.
In general, Ringo felt GREAT. Better than GMHA. His canter feels like it's finally come out of the strength plateau that we've been working through literally since last October--he's finally gotten to the point where he can maintain a PSG-appropriate level of connection indefinitely and still be soft, happy and relaxed, whereas before I felt like I had to fight to keep him in the box every single stride. He's really, really pleasant to ride at the moment. Hooray!
And as a result, I now feel like I can maintain a much nicer position, because I don't have to fight him nearly as much. Riding today, even though I know how still unbelievably far away from top standard we are, I felt like I had a clearer view than ever before of what top-level riding is supposed to feel like from a position and aids point of view. It was really, really exciting.
The competition was in the Mount Holyoke indoor, so I didn't bother bringing the camera because I knew the pictures would be sort of sketchy. So instead, here's a video!
What a perfect creature :)
Obviously there's still stuff to work on (pirouettes, 3's, trot cadence, trot mediums/extendeds), but overall I'm absolutely thrilled. On to the next!
(Our pretty ribbon, score, and 7 on rider--a first for me at this level! Hooray!)