So first of all you guys are so freaking loyal and awesome and I love you for all your comments that were like "that lady is crazy you and Tucker are awesome don't even worry about it xoxoxo." Cause seriously it made me feel so much better about life.
And you know I have been on this kick of "hey let's look at the positives, there is stuff you're doing right all the time along with the stuff you're doing that's not right." And I still support that viewpoint because there is literally nothing good that can come of tearing yourself down repeatedly.
That said, I gave all three of the videos a hard look with a critical eye and I have to admit, McGrumpyPants is right. The position transition is a really hard one, but I could certainly be sitting back and down more, and sometimes I do. I think I get in the ring and I'm too busy thinking about other things and my body goes into default hunter mode and I forget all about sitting back and sitting down. Which is understandable, sure, but looking at the videos as objectively as possible, she's right about my position and how it is affecting his way of going.
This is the video of Test 2 on Sunday morning - the one that got the most negative comments (with a score of 63.5). As you'll see, I am way too far forward in my position (although I still think two-point is a bit of a stretch), and Tucker is at times unsteady in the bridle, but there are also parts here that I like.
The opening halt didn't look as bad as it felt, but we kind of square danced into it. Leg yields are good, trot lengthenings could happen a little sooner but they're not bad. The walk work, while not perfect, is very good for us. I can't see the stretchy walk too well, but I was happy with it at the time, and I like the tempo.
Left lead canter transition was a disaster - still needs work - but we do beautiful ones sometimes, so I know they will come. The 15 meter canter circles look as good as they felt, and the canter lengthenings are pretty solid, other than me being way too forward. His right lead canter transition is great, lengthening is good, and from what I can see it looks like I did show a transition back to working canter. I don't love either canter-trot transition, they are pretty off balance, but his stretchy circle at the end is probably the best one he's done. And, we finished with a lovely square halt.
So, although I totally understand what the judge was saying about my position - and I agree 100% that it needs fixing and it is probably why his transitions are not where they should be - overall I think this was a really good effort for us. There's plenty of evidence of things we're still working on, but after seeing this, I no longer feel like I should sell Tucker to someone more capable and take up golf.
Which is good, because... I don't really like golf.