Thursday, August 4, 2016

Training Level test run results

Yesterday, Loch Moy had another one of their lovely Twilight Events where you can run a full 3 phase event right in basically you would do your dressage and proceed right over to jumping.

I chose to do an XC lesson with Dom (Recap here) on Tuesday so decided to only run the CT portion of this event and skip XC as not to over do it jumping for Tillie. My goal was simple, go and run through the dressage and stadium portion of Training level and see how it goes. I didnt set the bar too high and I just went into it with the repeating theme lately of: Leave Tillie the F alone and let her training come through.

fancy pants
Warming Tillie up she felt like a well oiled machine. She new her job and was pretty on point. She felt really nicely relaxed and she required me to use a lot more leg to get her going a bit which isn't surprising with how hot it got on that black surface.

 My only tiny nit picking complaint is that lately our stretchy trot has seemed to disappeared. But its a small thing, and something we can get back with more work. I usually do it every single ride, but since starting our rides back after her feet issues, I have sort of lost sight of it which clearly reflects in the movement not happening right now.

BUT we are getting more adjustable and able to be moved around!

 I think a huge factor of Tillie feeling so relaxed is I shockingly was pretty relaxed. Maybe because I wasnt sure what to expect and didnt set any expectations other than lets not forget any parts of the test...maybe from showing so much that these twilight events feel like awesome relaxed glorified lessons. Who knows, but whatever it is, its working well for Tillie and it is also allowing me to be a whole lot less fussy with her in test riding which means shes balancing more and more on her own!

Getting some uphill trot moments!

 I do think the judge was quite lenient and scored generously, but I was really floored with our results when I finally got our tests: 26.9!!! I even snagged an 8.5 mark towards the end of our test with an 8 in rider position and aids!! Heck I used to score terribly there!!! The collective remarks at the bottom were in regards to our stretchy trot and lengthenings which I agree with and I think will come with more time riding this test. I couldnt be more pleased and over the moon with Tillie!

Here is our whole test:

After a quick tack change we headed over to warm up which I chose to keep her in the snaffle since shes been jumping in that for stadium quite well. Dom also recommended that to see what we had. And boy was I not disappointed. Tillie was lovely in it. She was a bit stubborn about giving me her leads, but I think some of that is still me being a bit off my own game...but I do feel it slowly coming back!

My goal for this stadium was simple: NO pulling back. I *think* I did a good job with that. There is only one instance where my reins had to slip I did need to shorten them, but other than that on approaching fences I dont think I fussed with her or tried to bury her to any. Tillie was pretty forward but not pulling or being overly strong at all...she did however celebrate after one of her flyings:

Watch vvveerrry closely - she throws some head tossing sassy my way
We started off in a nice rhythm which unfortunately my videographer forgot to start filming but thats ok! Im thankful to have any footage!!

I think this round was really educational for her because I made a point to leave her alone more. Especially the bending line to jump 5. I didnt pull her up, I simply closed my outside leg and opened my inside rein to get the you can see she got a bit surprised at it because she got a little low looking for me to help her. After that she sat herself up and I didnt have that issue again!

As much as I wasnt sure about doing this was exactly the confidence boost I needed going into this weekend for our full debut. Tillie continues to surprise me and it makes me incredibly happy. 

I was of the belief not that long ago that I would have one of my trainers run her through her first few training levels, but I think we got this together and we will figure it out. It certainly has helped I have gotten the vote of confidence saying we are ready from 4 of my current trainers! So all i have to do it trust in tillie more, not pull on her and keep my leg on!


  1. Yay! Have fun this weekend and good luck!!!

  2. I love this show idea. I wish we had "twilight" eventing shows around here.