Wednesday, August 17, 2011

No one said it would be easy but no one said it would be so hard

This past weekend we finally scored a pair of eyes on the ground and started to throw the test together.

Prior to this weekend I had maybe done the meat of the test a dozen times either concentrating on just trot or canter tours, and even then I didn't do them in entirety (yeah those two canter pir's to the four's, threes and extended... woo).

On the surface the PSG is the equivalent of fourth level. Same movements. Different beast entirely.

It's deceptively flowy, with softball setups on paper. In reality it's rapid fire execution and claims serious real estate in making the rider and horse be fit to actually carry through and execute. This is not a test for the under prepared. I think the test writers must have been laughing all the way to the bank when they wrote it.

With this weekend we identified two weak spots in our work. Canter zig zag and the pir's. The pir's are still too large but the zig zag is a matter of attacking the set up. The tempi's were also weaker because we ramped up the balance.

It's also the first time I felt what we are going up against.

It's hard. Especially the canter work at the end where it all happens all at once with separate scores on just about everything. It doesn't help that we're stuck in arenas where the dimensions are skewed.

But the challenge has given me food for thought of what I want to do with this part of my life. Is it hard? Yes. These are the hardest tests in the sport.

Does it make me want to do this for the rest of my life? Yes. Insanely, yes.

So it's time, as Koford has said, to throw our big girl pants on and suck it up. Four weeks till lift off.

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