Piper finally posted his first USDF Training Level scores. A 3 day weekend at Mystic Valley Hunt Club in Connecticut really threw Piper into the deep end of the pool, forcing him to sink or swim. And swim, he did !
MVHC ran with 3 rings. Rings 2 and 3 had the judges sitting in pretty little gazebos. Ring 1 had the judges sitting in simple functional booths.
We missed Piper's first scheduled class of the day due to a pulled shoe. But we were back in action in time for his second class.... In Ring 1. He warmed up fine on the grass next to the ring and was calm. But when we started our circuit around the arena before the bell, he paniced, spun, did little rears, backed up, and was soon eliminated. I unmounted, walked him past the judge, apologised, left the area, remounted, and went to work in the big crowded warm up area.... which happens to also have a lovely little gazebo at "C".
Our last ride of the day was in Ring 3, and we got through it. Amazing. And so the weekend was well underway.
We did 3 more rides on Saturday, one in each ring, and 3 more on Sunday. While Rings 2 & 3 never caused him to worry, Ring 1 was still posing a challenge. Thanks to Friday and Saturday evening open ring schooling sessions, Piper came to grips with the setup. Or so we thought. However, the last ride of the weekend was in Ring 1 and he again refused to go near the judge at C during the warmup before the bell. But we got through the test, none-the-less, and that was progress.
Over the 3 days, Piper completed 7 tests. We have sheets from 5 different judges with individual sheet scores ranging from 56.000% to 68.929%. Final USDF scores (some of which are averaged between 2 judges) are posted here on Fox Village.
So, overall, a good start, but now one thing is obvious. Piper needs to learn that when the rider says, "Do this now", the only right response is to say, "Yes, Mamam! Right away!".