I just bought this guy almost exactly one month ago. I started working with him on jumping then, as well. Then, I decided to take him to a Combined Test (Dressage & Stadium) just to see how he'd react. I put him in the 2' division, Walk/Trot test.
He did absolutely phenomenal. I got there with very little time before our test, and lunged him in side reins to warm him up, then had about a 15 minute ride warm-up and it was time for our test. He was wonderful. Walked by the Judges booth after a little coaxing, and not once spooked though.
I am really very happy with his performance. This was his first time every doing anything like this, including jumping.
Inbetween classes I lounged on the front of the trailer reading a book, holding the leadline, and he grazed right next to me. It was a good hour and a half. He kept coming up and putting his nose in my face, being nosy, every once in a while. It was nice to be able to just spend some quiet time with him.
For Stadium, he was great! I never asked him to canter, I trotted him to the first fence, and let him choose the pace after that. By the last three jumps he was cantering (as you see in the pictures) and felt confident. He was so brave and so willing. I am SO very proud of my guy!
I was told I got several compliments on him from the viewers on the side, saying they couldn't believe he's only been jumping for a few weeks now. They couldn't believe he is all new to this, and one remarked that he is going to go far.
My whole goal through this day was to just stay quiet and confident, and not get in his way. I just wanted him to experience it, and see how he reacted. I wanted to be there to support him, but not carry him. When he wanted to canter fences, I just let him go and do it on his own, but I stayed there to support him. A trainer that was there gave me a very good compliment as well and said that I am a very quiet rider and he & I seem to do very well together. She said he really seems to look to me for guidance, and I stay very quiet which helps him stay calm.
That was my whole goal for the show, and it made me really happy to hear. I am so uber proud of him, I can't even put it into words. I am completely smitten with him...
I know there are things we need to work on, and we're taking some time to keep working on basics. It was just a trial show, pretty much. But I can not wait until I feel he's ready to do it for real, for competition! I don't think it'll take too long, just some fine tuning.
Anyhow, on to the pictures!
The short warm-up
^ Trotting away from the Judge's box in warm-up, his "Get me AWAY from that thing!" face... hence why I am cracking up in the saddle. Gotta love my boy...
The Dressage Test
Entering at A
More to come in another post...