Baby Huey and I are going to show first level at a local schooling show on May 22! I haven't looked at a first level test in, like, seven years. But just how different can they be from seven years ago? There aren't that many possible movements at first level. If Huey and I can get it together, he should be able to score decently on everything except, maybe, trot lengthening. Sometimes we can get it, but more often not so much. Wish us luck!
Here are some clips from this evening. What a pleasant ride. You'll see a little bit of trot lengthening, lots and lots of trot-canter-trot, some walk-canter-walk, and stretching down. I love how the transitions are looking. If you've got nice transitions, you're doing something right. The walk-canter-walk isn't second-level clean yet, but it's not bad. I'm pretty sure Camilla can do it cleaner, so I just need to work on my timing.
Remember when I talked about my fun upper-back muscle knot? And remember when I jolted my back a couple weeks ago? Well, my jolted lower back got about 80% better on its own and then hit a plateau at "not spasming, but moderately ouchy." Several people at work swear by a local chiropractor, so I decided to give him a try. He doesn't do the jerking thing; he uses the little tool that thumps you (I've seen it done on horses). I thought, hey, he can fix my lower back and also tell me why I have frustrated about six different massage therapists who can't get my upper-back-knot to let go. I had my appointment today. The thumping he did on my lower back already seems to have helped a lot. And when he found my knot he started laughing. "That's no knot," he said, "that's your second rib." The muscle that attaches to the rib has pulled it out of whack so it's poking out. He thought it was pretty funny that for a year, massage therapists have been pushing on it, trying to break it up. Pretty hard to break up bone. So he thumped around there, too, and whatever he did has stirred up a hornet's nest. I felt kind of sick all afternoon, and tonight I'm just icing and icing. He said this might happen, and it should subside in a day. And he said to tell the massage therapists to work on the posterior scalene muscle instead of pushing on my rib.