My ride time wasn't until the afternoon, and it was hot! In the 80s, compared to barely 60 most of the last few weeks. Cupid was struggling a bit, he started breathing pretty hard after only about 10-15 minutes. The warm up ring is surrounded by a tall hedge, and in the past Cupid was a little spooky in the corner but this time he was great. We kept our warm up pretty easy: several minutes of walking, trot work with 20 meter circles and a few smaller circles to the outside the other direction. We did a little canter to the left. Again not getting the left lead first try, but felt good once we got it. Then we just walked and were able to go a bit early, since Cupid was starting to get tired.
Training 1 felt good. We had a few mistakes: not getting the left lead on first try and then breaking early, and I was a little late asking for the walk to trot transition. Our lowest score was a 4 for the left lead canter, and our best score was an 8 for the final halt We also got a 7.5 for our first halt and the free walk. The collective comments said we need a rounder outline and more overall suppleness and bend.
I took Cupid back to the trailer to get water, then just walked until our second round which we also were able to do early. It was good to go through this test at a low key schooling show, since the loops are new. We got some feedback that we need more bend through them, which was helpful. We again had trouble with the left lead - getting it eventually but not on first ask, and got a 3 there. At least we were able to maintain it around the arena, even though our down transition was a bit shy of X. Cupid spontaneously broke into a canter when we were trotting, and we messed up the first halt (got a 4 - but did much better with a 7 for the final one). Our best score was the trot-walk transition and medium walk, which was an 8, then a 7.5 for the free walk. We got a few 7s near the end, so managed to stay just above 60. The collectives said more suppleness and relaxation needed - "better balance, not so much speed". I agree with the first part, but aside from the spontaneous canter I'm not quite sure what the judge meant about less speed. Cupid can get quick sometimes, but he didn't feel that way to me.
Overall I thought it was a great experience and felt very good about the show. I'm still struggling with the whole dressage thing - I'm still not quite sure how I'm supposed to achieve the proper "frame" without feeling like I'm hauling on my horse's face, but hopefully we will get there.