HUGE congratulations to my clients, who had a very successful show this past weekend at Once Upon a Horse in Eagle, Idaho (my home base). Since I was gone for almost three weeks before this show (left June 4th, back to work June 22nd), most of my other horses and riders had some vacation time!! In a little over a week's time I was able to whip everyone back into shape and get them organized and refocused for the upcoming show.
Barb Sparks and her own Wolcott earned her second qualifying score for Regionals at Second level, in addition to winning both her classes with scores 63-64%. Overall, their balance has improved tremendously and both look fairly comfortable with the second level work. Now the goal is to improve the engagement even more and improve the suppleness in the back.
Both Beth Harris/Samorano and Paige Haas/Donegal McSweeney earned two scores over 60 at Fourth level tests 2 and 3. Sam has really made strides in his uphill balance and strength in the canter. We've been working on straightness quite a bit, which has messed with the changes some. Also need to work on better bending through the body in lateral work. Paige and Danny are getting much better with the difficulty in fourth level, and Danny has become much more ridable and less tense about the changes. Now to carry that into the test with a higher degree of reliability!
I rode Michelle Surkamer's beautiful mare Quite a Star to two second place finishes at Training level and her second qualifying score for Regionals. Cindy McKim's fantastic horse FiveStar HW overcame a spunky, exhuberant start in his first test to score 69+ in his First level debut, and finished the weekend with a 75 in Training level 3, winning the Training level Open Championship and the Overall High Point Open. Both horses are working towards improved engagement and the uphill balance that is necessary for First level, particularly developing the thrust required for the lengthenings.
Charismatique had two solid rounds at FEI, PSG and I-1, to score in the lower 60s. His scores were disappointing, particularly given his fantastic showing at the Idaho Festival, but I think he took his vacation time a little too seriously. :) His second test was far better than the first, mistake-free with pretty solid balance. I was very happy with it. I was disappointed to only score 64%, but there you have it.
The huge-moving and impressive Bolero started out spooky and tense in his first round, but came back with a 69 in First 3. He improved on that the next day with a 72.5 in First level 3, and also won the First level Open Championship! He needs to work on increasing elasticity and become a little looser in his back and neck. Then I need to add more power for the lengthenings. Judges really love him, when he goes well he scores pretty consistently low 70s at First level. But he is capable of mid to upper 70s at First level, and that's my goal for the end of the year.
Overall, a great weekend for everyone. For now, back to training and thinking forward to the next shows!