Piper's first class at the big New England Dressage Association Fall Dressage of Dressage is on Thursday morning at 8:24. Training Level Test 1. An hour later, I ride Jeddien at Third Level Test 2. The rest of the day is wide open. I'll probably volunteer a few hours of my time to help the NEDA team.
Two days and counting.
Piper was a little star today. He worked well indoors. Today, we did quite a bit of walking squares. These are 12 to 15 metre squares with corners done via the turn on the forehand movement. Snappy reactions to my aids while staying on the bit are what I'm looking for in this work. And I got it.
This work then helps make Piper more responsive to my inside leg, allowing me to quietly push him out more in the canter circles, preventing him from falling in, which he sometimes will do to the left.
Good canter work. Obedient reactions. And so we went for a quick trail ride, the long way around to the outdoor arena.
At the outdoor arena, he spooked a little when riding right up to the judge's tent, which I have to admit is looking pretty tatty after all the wind storms of late, but he was rideable. And that is the only purpose for the tent. It is destined to go in the trash before the first snows.
After a few minutes walking back and forth past the tent, we rode Training Level Test 1. Really well. I was so pleased.
And so, with only two days left to go, I rode Piper back to the barn with a true sense of calm I rarely feel with him. It felt good. I leaned forward, kissed his neck, and told him he's going to be my next dressage star.