But, it was for a good cause.... Splash and I were lucky enough to be a demo rider/horse pair for the B-session of the LProgram clinic held Saturday and Sunday at Bridle Creek in Sperry. The requirements included "Braiding."
I have banded and done French and net braids but never those Button Braids traditional for dressage horses. So, Marilyn B gave me a latch hook, black yarn, and guidance (watch YouTube videos and purchase Activator Gel) AND came over Friday evening to help me do the braiding deed. Splash wasn't pleased but did look good.
And, he got a free perm out of the deal when the braids came out on Sunday afternoon.
I planned to really work Splash to get ready for the demo ride and we were off to a good start with the Rocking C show Sept. 3. Alas, I had a McPherson/Wichita work trip last week and then the farrier came Friday..... So, Splash was not tuned up. Ginny H and I were to trailer-pool Splash and Acca to Bridle Creek for the Sat. afternoon session, but first - we joined Maryal Barnett and the L-Judge candidates for the first half of the lecture Saturday morning. The lecture with video examples focused on Training and First Level movements. Ginny and I left the lecture early so that we could come back to Claremore to get the horses and head out to Bridle Creek in time for my ride time at 1:00 to demonstrate Training Level movements; Richal on Genna and Elizabeth with Theo were my partner demos. Ginny and Acca were on at 3:15 to demonstrate First Level movements. Marilyn and Jurgan, Jessie and Denali, Ruthie and Dreamweaver, and Marta and Chasqui also demo-ed.
Sunday's program focused on Second Level and was fascinating to a woman forever in Training Level - on a good day. It was really fun to see my horsey friends and teachers ride as demos - Patty and Dante, Marilyn and Willie, Cynthia and Shadow, Sandy and Fancy, Heather and Studly, AND Kay on Odakai - Wow.
I am really sorry I missed the A-session but I will definitely go to the next session in October. The B-session covered: 1) criteria/purposed for Training, First, and Second level; 2) criteria for gait and paces; and 3) criteria for movements. In dressage, the quality of gaits are dependent on rhythm, freedom, elasticity, suppleness, suspension, scope/amplitude, and reach/range of motion. In the classroom, we reviewed the Pyramid of Training and listened in on the review of homework from the A-session - very interesting discussion between the judging candidates and Maryal. Also, we reviewed the principles of increased engagement and elevation - the horse will develop both as training progresses.
Definitions - these are helpful for a rider of any level to consider when riding.
Purpose of the Test/Level - to evaluate the expected stage of training objectives as stated on the top of each score sheet.
Criteria - standard by which a movement is judged as stated in the USEF Rule Book
Test Movement - the section of a dressage test that must be assigned a single score - note that half points will be introduced next year.
Essence (of the movement) - The most important part of the sequence in the score sheet box; e.g., the "halt" or "canter depart".
Modifier - other elements in the box that might add or deduct from the score
Directive Ideas - explanations on the score sheet in the column after each test movement
Biomechanics of the Movements - Did the horse do "it" and How did the horse do "it." Evaluate posture, bend, carriage, stride, energy, balance, and more - straightness, collection, frame, and engagement.
Training Level Purpose - to confirm that the horse is supple and moves freely forward in a clear and steady rhythm accepting contact with the bit.
First Level Purpose - To confirm that the horse, in addition to the requirements of Training Level, has developed the thrust to achieve improved balance and throughness and to maintain a more consistent contact with the bit.
Second Level Purpose - To confirm that the horse, having achieved the thrust required in First Level, now accepts more weight on the hindquarters (collection), shows the uphill tendencey, especially in the medium gaits, andis reliably on the bit. A greater degree of straightness,bending, suppleness, throughness, balance and self-carraiage is required than at first level.