I sent out my entries for California yesterday. Three horses in the CDI PSG/I-1 at Festival of the Horse and the Golden State Dressage Festival. Crazy!!
Monkey has been fantastic in training, his trot is gaining expression and I have been able to keep the tempo a little slower by riding passage--medium trot--passage transitions. I typically have a hard time to keep him pushing through with his hind legs while keeping him slow in the tempo and uphill in carriage. I haven't worked on the piaffe/passage much recently, but the thought of it helps the basic trot work. Monk is currently 15th on the list for Gladstone for 2012 (top 15 get invites), so I decided to do PSG/I-1 again in hopes I can get a shot at going (I only have one score from last June, and need another). We'll see how it goes. Last year you had to have a solid 68% average at PSG/I-1 at CDIs to even be invited. Tough competition!
Victor has been fantastic in training, he's really started to consistently carry himself well in the trot through all the lateral work. I have a hard time keeping him straight before the pirouettes, and he likes to get a little bracing in the changes sometimes. I feel like I've gotten a good system of communication built up with him though. I think I'm more confident that I know how to get everything going in the direction that I need for a good test. He's a horse that has to be "fired up", it's always nice to ride him during a wind storm or thunderstorm or other such drama. A lot of applause helps too.
Majek hates the double, and thinks it is a huge affront to his self-image. Actually, he's not quite that bad, but he's definitely much more touchy and defensive on it. He's super easy to ride on snaffle, unfortunately you don't get to do that in a CDI. Some things are actually better on double, he's more uphill and expressive, but just be careful not to touch him! He's such a different ride than the other two, so much more sensitive and forward-thinking. It is a mental challenge to warm up one for a test then get on the next one.
It will be interesting to see what the CDI judges do with these horses. The expectations are quite a bit different than at national shows. I kind of know what they think about Monkey (having shown him quite a bit at that level), but not sure what they'll think of the other 2. Will be interesting!
The shows are looking to be super busy, between all the extra CDI-related activities (in-barn inspection, jogs, possible awards ceremonies, etc) and the actual tests themselves. Although I'll only be riding 3 a day it will likely feel much more busy than that!! I've got Mom suckered into coming down and helping me.
It will be nice to be in the sun for at least a little while. Yesterday here in Boise it was 65 degrees, today it barely reached 40 and was windy and occasionally snowed. I'm looking forward to some nicer weather!!