So before our last show, Cadence and I trailered out to another farm so that we could run through a few tests in their dressage ring. A 'get your head back in the game' type experience, aimed at brushing off the cobwebs built up over the winter. And although the Mare-Face was a little hot headed, she was (overall) pretty damn good. Until we got half way through the first test. At that point in time, she had a series of mini-meltdowns over basic things like trotting a circle, doing a medium walk, and riding walk-trot transitions. Fun times. Eventually she settled a bit, and we finished on a positive note thinking that these mid-test meltdowns would soon be left behind.
Unfortunately, at our show the next day, we basically had a repeat of the previous day's test. Cadence was quite good (a bit tense, but we were in the ring next to the scary forest of doom...) and got predominantly 8s, with the odd 7 thrown in for the first half of the test. And then, she melted down. Again. I rode through it as well as I could, and my coach agreed that I'd basically made the best of the situation, but most of the second half of the test was pretty abysmal. 6's, a few 5's, and a 4 for good measure. The judge did say that she was a lovely mover and had a very 'active and engaged' hind end though.... but the coach & I felt that some remedial test work would be necessary, as we were basically 0 for 3 in terms of dressage tests.
So yesterday we trailered over to a local farm (that also happens to be my favourite place to school because they have a separate jumper course, hunter course, dressage ring, schooling ring, and lesson ring all readily available) to use their dressage ring and work out our test issues.. but lo and behold, Cadence was brilliant. She was coming off of 4 days solid work (Stretch, jump, lunge, flat) but she was still hot and energetic- enough so that I lunged her before we even put er on the trailer. But she warmed out of it and put in two lovely tests. We rode Entry (BN) test 2 and Training 2, and aside from a little tension in the middle of Entry 2 that she worked out of in 1 or 2 movements, the tests were brilliant. So here's hoping the sound check's over, and our testing is now back on track!