I managed to get everything done and was on my horse about 50 minutes before my ride time. My plan was to walk for 30 minutes then trot a little and see what I was dealing with. It would still give me about 15 minutes to either trot more and get him put together or put his brain back in his head if his mind got blown. About the time I was going to start trotting, we got word the judge was stuck in traffic.
All done with the clipboard
This isn't that uncommon, so we assumed the judge would be about 30 minutes late. So I kept walking him. I decided to go ahead and trot after awhile because he was getting restless with just walking. He was pretty good, minimal invert and fling legs and he gave me some really nice moments. After some more walking and another round of trotting, we then got another update on the judge and discovered that a semi had overturned on the interstate and the judge was stuck as in not moving at all with no exit in sight.
I decided to get off him, and see how he did standing around. Newsflash, standing around is his least favorite thing and he was pretty restless. And on top of it he had to pee. He hates peeing while tacked up, so he kept getting more and more antsy until he finally gave up and just peed. He was a little better about standing, but he still kept circling me.
Finally, we got word that the judge had managed to get off the interstate and was going a different way, and was going to be there in about 30 minutes. I got back on and started walking and trotting him again. He was still trying, but I could tell his right hind (the weaker one) was getting fatigued. So I just kept walking him until the judge got there. Thankfully, I was only the second rider so once the judge got there we didn't have much of a wait.
Are we still walking???
Our test was pretty much what I expected. The trot work was very inconsistent and we had some jigging in the walk and not much of a free walk. But we had some nice moments. I was a little irritated with myself, because I blanked out a couple of times and forgot to ride in a few place which led to wonky geometry and we lost a point here and there because of me. But I was so proud of my horse. We were done with our test just a little over three hours after I got on him the first time. He kept it together and walked out of the ring on a loose rein.
Of course as soon as I got off him, he started spinning around me like a wind up toy. But the poor guy was just freaking done and he kept it together until his work was done. I really can't ask for more than that. Initially, I was super pleased with my scores because they were all 5s and 6s. After I scribed I discovered that the judge just about won't give below a five. There was only one 4 given for the whole show. I missed what happened but I saw a horse buck an entire canter circle, and multiple people botched leads and they still got 5s.
Matching outfits for the win
I ended up with a third place ribbon because one person scratched. Our score did improve over our previous show, but I am not really counting it as such since 5 was essentially as low as the judge would go. I didn't learn anything earth shattering which is nice, because it means I do have a fairly accurate handle on where things are as far as his progress goes. Plus this was a testament at how far he has come mentally to handle being tacked up ridden then standing then ridden again in the span of three hours.