Saturday, May 19, 2007

Another Test Ride

No Rain in the AM

But I did need to go buy a birthday card, so that set me back a bit.

I had just enough time to work two horses for short sessions before I needed to go to the birthday barbeque.

I took Chance out on the lines and did a quick set of circles on the right. He settled a bit at the trot, but not as well as I'd like to see eventually. Considering the time restraints, I asked for some canter departs. After one false start on the left lead, he picked up the right lead three times in a row and this time was far more relaxed on the lead. He tempo was slower and his balance much better. I called him in and treated him with a handful of peppermint horse treats and called it a day.

Tucker was calm and relaxed as we explored some of the movements of the second level tests. Travers and counter canter are a cinch for him, as is the canter depart from the walk. His only shortcoming is getting the canter/walk/canter transistion without any trot steps. During the pretend test we rode, that was the only thing he didn't handle easily. However, afterwards I did a quick bit of schooling and he was really improved. I finished with a series of trot lengthenings across the diagonals to encourage him to reach out more and he again improved.

All in all, it was a good horse morning.

And all in all it was a good barbeque. I did stay inside as it kept sprinkling on and off, but that didn't stop me from eating.

The only real disappointment of the day was that Curlin beat Street Sense in the Preakness Stakes, so once again we will not have a Triple Crown winner. Street Sense looked to have the race one, but Curlin caught him by a nose in the very last stride. Some of the reports suggest it could have easily gone the other way, but Street Sense lost a little focus on the stretch. I didn't hear his jockey's interview after the race as my barbeque pals were all talking, but I could see he was really disappointed. Calvin Borel is a fine rider and he cares deeply about his mounts. He rode a masterful race, but this time they just came up short.

Too bad. I keep hoping to see that superhorse again--I was lucky enough to see Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed. I guess those moments were far more special that I even realized.
I know Secretariat's wins surely were, and Affirmed duels with Alydar were just incredible!

One more year to wait for the next dream horse to show up....if I don't count the three stars in my own back yard.


  1. I also read about the Preakness race. It is disappointing not to have a Triple Crown winner possibility. Oh well.

    I have a question. Do you know what level Training level 3 or First level 1 would be here in Britain?


  2. I remember them too.

  3. Good question, Mary Lou.

    Training level: walk, trot, canter, 20 meter circles. All canter departs from the trot.

    First level: walk, trot, canter, lengthened trot, lengthened canter, leg yields, halt and stand. 15 meter circles at canter, 10 meter circles at trot. Change of lead through trot.

    Second level: add 10 meter circles at canter, simple change, canter from walk, counter canter, travers, shoulder-in (I think, rein back. (Not sure what else.)

    Does that help at all?

  4. that makes training level = prelim

    1st level = novice or thereabouts

    2nd level up again...

    probably with odd little variations!