Monday, March 15, 2010

Levels Self-Assessment

In order to assure myself that Guinness is ready to participate in a L2/3 clinic in May, I've self-assessed with Guinness and, amazingly, he has demonstrated that he can do the majority of L2 and some L3 things!

The things that we need to play with most are:

  • good, consistent circles at the full 22', with obstacles and w/o breaking gait
  • good, constant Sideways over a pole at a distance and w/o a fence
  • jumping barrels
  • good, consistent weave & figure-8 patterns (more my issue than his!!)
  • life up to go
  • walk/trot or gait transitions
  • Sideways 20' along a fence
  • Open a gate

Here is the detailed breakdown:

  • All L1 tasks
  • All L2 except: pick up all 4 from one side (not tried), circling with obstacles maintaining gate, reliable sideways over pole, sideways w/o fence, jump barrels.
  • L3 achieved: extreme helicopter, flag, pedestal, hind feet on pedestal, message inside ear, ball on horse, lead by ear, hold tongue, lead by mane, drive from Z5 w. one rein (out on trails!!), S patterns, falling leaf (my technique needs improvement), trailer load, forward under tarp, one foot on a pole.
  • L4 achieved: Swing rope from Zone 5, 1 foot on object, bounce ball on horse, slap ground 6 times from Zone 5, lead backward by tail, backward under tarp.
  • All L1, except: squeeze to go (still refining)
  • L2 achieved: swing legs, rub w. raincoat, toss rein over head, swing carrot stick, mount from fence, back up 10 steps w. 9 step backup, lift rein & hold to stop and back up, change direction at walk, ride through narrow space, walk over small log, turn face & wait.
  • All L2 except: walk-trot-walk transitions
  • L3 achieved: horse comes willingly, stand on tarp/pedestal, extreme friendly Z1-3, lead backward by tail, lead backward by leg, lead by ear, move hind end, draw at walk, change direction at trot, slow sideways

The clinic is still 8 weeks away from now. Given the snow & mud of the last 3 months, I think that Guinness is coming along really well. We'll have unlimited use of an indoor arena at a local riding stable for the next month, so I'm pretty sure that we will be able to progress his Freestyle skills further. The biggest thing is for me to improve my 22' rope skills!


Lisa said...

If this is the clinic with Carol, my best advice - DON'T STRESS. You are where you are and she can teach you right there.

I flipped when I got into the L3/4 clinic and nearly dropped out. Carol reached through the internet and delivered an e-Pattern Interrupt (note: I've been a student of Carol's for 5-6 years adn she knows me well enough to do so). She assured me I'd be fine. I figure she knows better than I do!

You are going to have a blast and learn a ton.


Naturally Gaited said...

Shoot, it was Carol who specifically requested my self-assessment. Honestly, I can't take it personally since I've only had one clinic with her (L1/2) and it was 3 years ago. But, it has made me pause to reevaluate.. Kelly Sigler knows me much better since I've had several clinics and lessons with her over the years. I was just hoping to tap into Carol's insight about gaiting vs. trotting vs. cantering, since I'd like Guinness and I to have access to ALL of his gears!

Lisa said...

Well, I stand corrected!

Still, every Carol camp I've been in (or audited) has the request to bring a self-assessment (well, since they published them). Carol is big on using the self-assessment as a "progression tool" - taking it to the arena and not just sitting at the kitchen table thinking, "yeah, we did that once."

Regardless, you'll be just fine. I have no business riding in a L3/4 camp but I want the advanced ground work. Carol will figure out what to do with me. She always does :)

Naturally Gaited said...

Are you going to be at Bristol too? I'm hoping to audit some of the camp there.

I need to let her look the self- assessment over in order to make a decision. I'm leaning toward trying to tape L2 On-line & Freestyle in the next couple of weeks. That way she can see us in action. (The videos that I've posted so far probably wouldn't boost her confidence much!)

I'm going to take Guinness over to the stable again this evening. I'd better go charge the camera!

Lisa said...

I wish I could come audit - I would love to meet you. Alas, Bristol is some distance for me and I have camp at Carol's place in Mt. Juliet on Mother's Day weekend.

Just remember what "assessment" really means. It's not a test and it's not about passing. It's just getting an idea of where you are. If I were to do an assessment of my Freestyle, I'd peg it at L2, maybe advanced L2 or just into L3. I'm nowhere near ready to assess L3 Freestyle. One day when I get to ride on a more regular basis . . .