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Sorry, Goose, but it’s time to buzz the tower.

Day 2 of schooling show, or day 3 of trailering out to show facility. It’s starting to feel like a routine. Get to barn, pretty up Mav and head on out.

Today is first level test 2. Mav sees it as another lost morning nap.

Everything is routine now and he is more relaxed in warmup.

Again, music warning. More modern music from 80’s band OMD. It’s a bit loud. Be warned.

We entered from the left today. Change it up and keep him guessing! Still limited room up there, I know I cantered in on Miss H many times but I guess her steering and collection was better at that point. Mav is still very much a work in progress. Not that he is expected to be more than he is right now, he’s not 6 yet and was only started at 4.5. His Right hind I often seem to lose in the halt. I am certain it is something I am doing so I will play with that and see if I can fix it.

A small amount of leg yield in this test. It’s very shallow, and Mav is happy to move over a little quicker than required. We have to be careful not to get there too early. Watching it back, I can see where he is bent a little too much and I lose the left shoulder a little. He also stumbled one step but recovered fast. Videos are great for picking apart rides!

Our trot lengthens are minimal at this point, but enough to show a change.

Canter in this test improved from yesterday. Only a tiny tight moment into the right lead.

Also got a teensy bit more in the canter lengthen. It felt huge. It looked minimal.

The beginning of a stretchy trot. He thought about reaching for it then decided maybe he shouldn’t. Or should he? My goal is for these to be better by the next test.

The final line, starting to have fun!

Overall, much more relaxed today. Both of us are gaining confidence in each other. I realized he is the same away as he is at home. At home, he spooks at the mounting block and gets tight if I’m not paying attention, or he’s feeling fresh. Or if I introduce something new and he is not sure about it yet. Since he is basically the same anywhere, it gives me more confidence to take him on outings.

A nice 72% score today. It looks like the same ribbon from the day before. I promise, it is a completely different ribbon and thing of horse cookies with the picture taken in exactly the same place. I will try to shake it up for any additional ribbons to come and find new and exciting places to photograph them.

He proudly shows off his ribbons. This shows there are, in fact, 2 ribbons. It was not a trick! And no, I did not borrow one of Miss H's ribbons from the trailer. Although I suppose I could have. I am not really sure where to put the ribbons now. So far they are decorating his locker but I am already out of space there. I guess they will go home, or into the trailer. The trailer already has too many as well. I tried hanging them from the roof in there but they keep falling off. Maybe I need one of those ribbon pillows or blankets. First world problems.

He does not really understand the ribbons yet. Soon I think he will understand ribbon means he did well. If he thinks of these things. Which he probably does not. He likely thinks of food, grass and hopefully he thinks about what he learned that day.

It was a good weekend. Confidence was built on both sides, some good judge comments and lots to build on for next time.

We now start picking away at the things in first level that need attention. And we continue working on things for the future. Counter canter is pretty well established now, changes are started, and lateral work is already much better than it ever was with Miss H. Sideways was hard for a large rectangular horse with no bend.

Every ride, I pick away at improving his gaits, make him adjustable and work on me. I’m really not built for it! But somehow I am finding a better seat since the show and leg position improves greatly when it starts at your hip. It never really gets easier, the things just get harder.

Mav? He continues to enjoy his training sessions and also his naps.

I am glad we got out there. It’s only Feb and we now have good things to work on before the show season starts for real. We will miss the next show due to scheduling conflicts with my trip to see my coming 2 year old Warlander filly and my coach being out of town, so looks like we have a couple of months to work hard at things until our next outing!

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