We had a dressage judge come to our barn on Halloween to practice ride dressage tests. Cupid was a unicorn, and I was a butterfly.
The judge spoke to everyone after their ride with some additional comments. She said the best part of my test was actually the right lead canter departure, which she said was very balanced and uphill, right before the spook. And she said something to work on was our stretchy trot, and to think about a bit of shoulder fore feeling in the corner before it to get him lifting his withers. She said since he does a nice job stretching at the walk she thinks we can get it in the trot too.
Then for our final test of the year I finally got to ride First level test 1! I know we're not quite show ready with it yet, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to practice. The test started out okay with the trot 10m half circles. Our stretchy circle was a bit better than the first test, and the walk as usual was fine. For our canter to the left it went okay, though we need to show a bit more in the lengthening. But then the test ends almost the same, with picking up canter at C (instead of between C and M as in Training 2) and down the long side, and Cupid spooked again in the same spot, worst this time. And then went into the wrong lead, so instead of lengthening we were trying to fix the lead. So the end was a bit of a mess.
The judge said the best part of our test was our second 10m half circle, to the right. Obviously the canter was the worst. She said I need to be a lot quicker about fixing an incorrect lead if it happens, which is true. She also said we need to be just a bit more consistent in our connection, but I told her my goal was to show it early next year and she said we can definitely get there. She suggested a lot of circles and serpentines, and also leg yields. Big leg yields as well as just a hoof's width over then straight again. The feedback was helpful and encouraging, even though it was frustrating having Cupid spook in both tests, at our home barn!
We went first in the day, before most people got there and a few people asked to see my costume. So after everyone was done we got dressed up again and did a little loop around with some of the other people who had costumes.