If you're tired of hearing me gush about this horse, quit reading now!
He was PERFECT. It was the first cold (FL cold) morning and the horses (except Yoshi) were super nutty at home. Mr. GY came with on his OTTB and Ms. GY came with as support crew. This meant that Yoshi and his buddy were left in after breakfast and the other three were turned out. My trailer lives in the pasture so I often just unhook the non-electrified tape around it and load Yoshi up where it is parked. He hopped right on, but Mr. GY's horse understandably took exception to the three dingbats who were literally galloping circles around the trailer and standing up on their hind legs. We pulled into the barn yard and then he felt safe getting on. Totally understandable, but again, bragging on Yoshi, he is amazing and walks on even when there is chaos around him.
|Cool as a cucumber|
The weekday schooling shows at Majestic are just perfect. They start at ground poles at 7:30 AM and go up to 3'6" (or higher if you request). On weekends they often run long compared to the planned height change schedule because of large groups, trainer holds, or people riding multiple horses in the same class. Weekdays though they are small enough they pretty much stick to the posted schedule. This meant that we hopped on, warmed up, and then basically got to go in. The course was fun, they have really exciting fillers and standards, and they threw in a skinny and a two stride. The skinny was present for all levels, which I thought was great, but the two stride just got added in at 2'6". JT had said she definitely wanted us to do 2'6" but we could start with 2'3" if we wanted. I worked until 2 AM Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, so arriving 30 minutes earlier to start at 2'3" was not appealing. I figured, correctly, Yoshi would be just fine heading in to the 2'6" with its fillers, especially because we had basically done the 2'3" for the entry level at the schooling show.
The course started with an oxer headed away from the in gate. Then it was a left hand rollback to a vertical for #2. You could take one of several options around jumps to do the rollback. #3 was a two stride with palm tree standards and chunky box fillers after either a tight rollback or a fairly sweeping/smooth 180. Easy bending line right to #4 followed by another right hand turn, tight or wide, to the skinny #5. Left to #6, then a track left around the outside of the arena to #7, 8, 9, and 10.
Our first trip through was a little bit messy. He got deep to #1, did a weird twist over #2, and then stuttered through the two stride at #3.
I love the video because you can see the moment where he goes... uhmmmm... I'm not sure about that as he sizes up the combination. He responded really well to leg though and went forward. We trotted in, he considered exiting stage left, but not with very much conviction at all, and trotted out. It actually felt worse to me than it looks on video. I mean it looks a little rough for sure, but never like he wasn't going to go. I chased him a bit down the bending line, completely unnecessarily, and so we were flat for #4. JT told us to trot the skinny to make sure he saw it. He definitely saw it, but was underwhelmed and knocked it. About 50% of the horses did, so he was certainly not alone.
From there he flowed easily over #6. We did the whole left hand loop of #7-10 on the right lead, but it was pretty wide turns since it was the outside of the arena so it didn't matter much. We got deep to #7 and he kinda rolled over his shoulder, but the rest rode pretty well.
|#8, forgive me for the butt shot (mine, not his)|
Not a coincidence that my favorite video still came after my favorite canter...
|Hey, there's a bit of an uphill (okay, okay, level...) balance!|
|And then he can jump so nicely!|