Various excerpts of Carolina's past have had her at somewhere between a Level 2 and Level 4 horse. Level 2 would be more believable because she's only 8 years old. She would have been 6 when she was supposedly competing. I can't imagine there are many Level 4 6 year olds.
She hasn't been ridden in two years. I've ridden her a handful of times and she responds really well to leg pressure. It's almost amazing how attentive and responsive she is. But she is all over the place. She's absolutely beautiful to watch, has lovely forward movement, but there's no collection. But the further into the lesson she gets the more fluid she feels.
I had a different trainer today and she's doubtful that Carolina competed at all.
Is it possible that she was at least trained to level 2 and then the two years she was left to be a horse - she just buried it in some horse-brain compartment? That maybe somehow I can unlock with some fitness and refreshing?
I guess I'm a bit bummed because the trainer I had today wasn't very enthusiastic. She suggested I get Carolina fit and sell her to someone that is looking for a trail horse or change disciplines and teach her Western.
This is of course, after the discovery that she (the barn owner) is predominately Western, teaches Western, competes Western, and is vocal about her dislike of English riders in the area.
I'm considering finding a new barn, a new trainer, and at the very least someone that is a much better rider than me (which to be honest isn't that hard most 4 year olds ride better) to see where Carolina is at and give me some decent, unbiased advice. Apparently there's a dressage barn not much further away than the current barn.
Where's that banging head against the brick wall smiley when you need it?