I've been working very hard with Cinny, and despite the fact that we STILL don't have a trainer (sigh) I think we are doing fairly well. I have been going to clinics, anything I can find to help even if it's with a top reiner, and I can control so many movements with Cin now. Cin has also come a long way in the ways of building up muscle and control for himself.
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?