Last year we did one schooling show at Intro level and did pretty respectably although judges notes said we had a ways to go in obedience and bit acceptance. We also were noted for Cin's lack of stretching down in his free walk. It's been almost a year since that show and we are now starting to school level 1 movements. He is bitting nicely now, showing more obedience (but still gives an occasional head toss or pinned ears) but seems to have the muscle, balance and stamina to carry them out. I am going to try to video as much as I can so that I can at least see myself and what I need to correct. He not only will stretch down in the free walk, but he will now do a nice, relaxed trot with his nose to the ground and my hand at the buckle.
I was thinking of showing Intro and Training level, but a few people say I shouldn't do intro again because it's not fair because Cin is past that. I think that until he stops grinding his teeth and tossing his head in transitions, that Intro/training is where he should be. He also pins his ears when I ask for a canter. I'm not talking flicking them back as if to listen, this is a real ear pin and he looks like if he could easily do so, he would turn and give me a nice bite or even a buck.
So, I'm not sure where to go from here when I enter the show ring this year. I really want to do the schooling circuit in my area and maybe do the Cornhusker Classic at the end of the year (year end state show). Do I stay back in Intro/Training until he stops the ear pinning, head tossing, or should I push ahead to Training/1st level which we are schooling and he can do well, except for the afore mentioned issues? They way I have always understood it, until I get the obedience and acceptance in Training level, he shouldn't move up. Am I right, or am I just being unfair to the other Intro riders?