Speaking of looking, I was sure glad I was able to get to the show grounds early enough to ride Lance around the show ring before classes started. He was a spooky little looky-loo at first, just as you'd expect an inexperienced young horse to be. But he relaxed in a very reasonable amount of time so we could go to work, checking his "go and whoa" responses, etc. He was being such a good boy . . . until our first test. Oh, he wasn't naughty, I just lost my gas peddle – completely! By the end of our trot work it felt like he was barely jogging; I was relieved when he didn't break to the walk before it was time to ask for a downward transition. Before our second test, you can be sure I tested his "go" again thoroughly! (In his defense, his saddle time at the show was far longer than anything we've done up to today, low-intensity though it was.) The refresher paid off; he had better energy in the second test until near the end, and even then didn't peter out as dramatically as he had in the first test.
So how did the judge think we looked? (Have you picked up on the hints? ;-)
My green-as-grass goober did me proud, placing second in both his classes with scores of 67.5% and 69.375%! Not only that, but he tied for first place in the first class, losing the tiebreaker (collective marks) by one point because of less "steady contact" – to a 14-year-old horse!
I asked the person in the announcer's booth to shoot video, but all she managed to get was one halt and salute at X. :-/
Someone else filmed our second test, so if I can get her to upload it to YouTube for me, I'll include it in another post.
The added bonus? It's clear and SUNNY today! What a blessing for someone who shows out her trailer!