Bruce returned for the YEH judging portion of the USEA Educational Symposium and was ridden by British Olympian Leslie Law. It was a great experience, because not only did I get to hear Leslie's opinion on him, I got to hear what the YEH judges thought and what I needed to work on. Leslie warmed him up and then proceeded to take him over a mock YEH course, so that the judges could really work on the new scoring system.
The first fence, Bruce scored a 2.5. The highest possible score over each fence was a 3. The second one he became a little unfocused, pulled a rail, and scored a 1. The next fence in the line scored a 2.5, and the following two show jumps (shown in the video above) scored between a 2.5 and 3. As did the first cross country fence. The second fence scored a 2 as he landed flat and on the forehand. The third cross country fence, a little coop, scored a 2.5-3 and he galloped onto to the trakhaner. He scored a 2-2.5 there, not for lack of jump but he switched his lead right before the fence. He turned and hopped over a coop, scored a 2.5-3, and through the water, out over the bank where he scored a 2-2.5 because he lacked impulsion. Over a small log galloping away, scoring a 3, and over a roll top to a ditch. Scored a 2.5 there because he just skimmed over the ditch and they would like to see a slight notice of the ditch, not just skimming over it. The final part was the gallop where he scored a 7.5 out of 10, as he started to gallop on the forehand.
Moving on with rideability, he scored a 7-7.5 out of 10. Just with him being slightly on the forehand, I have to work on that before he achieves the gallop he truly needs. General presence scored a 7.5. They then put Leslie on the mic for him to talk a little bit on his opinion after riding him. He discussed working on his rideability, getting him lighter off his forehand but really complimented his jump, and how it is rather effortless and he comes right up to your chest. He proceeded to say that while this horse will never be a winner after dressage, but said cross country is going to be his strongest phase. After I get him muscled properly he is going to be a completely different horse. Leslie gave him a huge compliment that made me incredibly happy. He said after a few years this you will not recognize this horse. He is going to be a great horse for a young rider to take up the levels. If he was a professionals horse in a big barn he would be passed over because he is going to take time. But taking that time, I wouldn't be surprised to see a young rider take him through the advanced/3* level. That was one of the biggest votes of encouragement I could receive, and I plan on taking some lessons with Leslie now in the future, and really working to obtain the best from him that I can.
Overall he was phenomenal and after a hard day yesterday too I am not surprised he is slightly tired. He gets to take the day off tomorrow before a light flat school on Friday and then off to Three Lakes HT on Saturday.