Fleygur has shared his experiences of the U.Ks first Tolt in Harmony Competition in an earlier blog, and has posted the links to the YouTube videos. There is a lot to be gained from watching the other performances too, and I will certainly be studying them hard, to see what I can learn for Svipur and myself.
I was very nervous about taking part. I have never ridden in an Icelandic Horse competition before, or even very much in a school, and it was my first time at such an event, with my young horse, Svipur. I did so much better than I expected, and the encouragement and support from all the others was great.
I think that Tolt in Harmony is a great event. I really wish to be the best rider I can be for my horse, and for us to go in harmony. I am concerned that many equine competitions lead to rough riding, and dubious methods, so I really wanted to support something that is designed to promote harmony, and does not value flashy action over the welfare of the horse.
The feedback for my practice round was:
“A little tense and pacy, but improving. Even speed, not quite relaxed enough and head carriage too high”
“A better beat in the circles. much better tolt, but circles irregular”
“Nice transition to walk, rushing the walk, not quite straight, try a longer rein”
“Very good halt”
Here is my second performance on Svipur,
He slowed down every time we got near the gate, and was reluctant to go forward in the last section. I was trying to give a longer rein for the walk, following feedback from the practice round, so that he could stretch out and relax, but I ended up with uneven reins, and not a straight line! Something to work on.
So, here are the judges comments that go with the performance on video.
First Movement: Tolt a figure 8: “Beat slightly pacy, but better than earlier [the practice round]. Much lighter contact” [than the practice round]
Second Movement : Circles: “Beat better on the circles. Nicely ridden”
Third Movement: Walk : “Early transition to walk. Rather tense and rushing. Outside rein longer that inside, but good halt”
Judges comments for Roger and Fleygur to follow in the next post.