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Return to the Show Ring!

So as we all know, husband has abandoned me for 2 weeks of every month, but of course a super close barn was hosting a dressage show that I really wanted to go to. Besides to Trainer J’s for lessons and a trail ride, P and I haven’t been off the property since I got him back 7 weeks ago. So I signed up for 2 dressage tests and asked a teen from the barn if she wanted to come with me to watch the 2 monsters (well, 1 good one and 1 monster).

 

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Good One is on the left.

 

Then the heavens opened up.

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And Friday afternoon, after I had spent an hour cleaning, conditioning and polishing my dressage tack, then pulling P’s mane, whitening his tail, and currying the crap out of him (much to his dismay)… the show secretary sent out an email saying that due to the radar, they would update everyone at 6 AM the next morning whether or not the show would still be on.

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Ugh.

My first ride time was at 8:42, so my plan was to leave the barn by 7:30. But now with it all up in the air, I didn’t want to get this girl and her parents up super early only for it to be cancelled.

So I told her to forget it, and then sent an email to the secretary letting her know I scratched.

And then I rode and this happened:

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This may not be exciting to many of you, but this was what I’ve been dealing with since he’s gotten home:

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But alas, no one would see this transformed P for awhile longer since I scratched.

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Then later on that night I got an email back saying this:

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Who are these people?

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The next morning, everything went according to schedule. The horses were in the night before due to the storms and so my work from the night before was for naught, but I managed to get most of the manure stains off of him before it was time to load up and go all of 10 minutes to the show grounds.

Then I unloaded a fire breathing dragon.

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I mean, come on. Where’s my chill P that comes off the trailer, takes a look or two around before diving into his hay? I’d like him, please. But as fate would have it, the temperature was no joke 30 degrees lower than it had been all week, and he’d been in his stall all night, rather than the usual overnight turnout. So while I wasn’t that surprised, I’d hoped it wouldn’t have such an effect on him.

But he didn’t get better, so I finally dragged myself on his back and we proceeded to bolt across the warm up field, leap sideways, and even attempt a buck.

As my ride time got closer I seriously considered scratching (for the 2nd time). He was THAT bad. But I figured what the heck, if we blow it, we’ll survive. All that means is he should be better the next time. So we entered the arena, circled around the dressage ring and waited for the judge, then headed down centerline.

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P the show horse was back.

Unfortunately it didn’t last the whole test.

Our left lead canter depart was much better than I had anticipated, but he didn’t appreciate being pulled up and all relaxation from then on was pretty much gone. Then a very disobedient horse unloaded next to the arena, and sirens went off on the road next to the barn. So relaxing was asking just way too much.

Our right lead canter depart was particularly expressive, and I was literally leaning with all my weight to the left to keep him from falling in. Then we raced down the straightaway. He relaxed slightly at the walk. I was actually impressed with his medium walk at C, but didn’t think the free walk was a 6.5 at all. He felt slow and tense. Then when I picked up the trot again at K to go back to centerline he felt all tense and jiggy again, so there my only goal was to keep him from bolting. I didn’t even get to focus on straightness to get a good halt!

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I thought the judge was incredibly generous in her scores, though I didn’t agree with all of them. Like our left lead canter was significantly better than our right, but was only scored with a 0.5 difference.

I got a kick out of the comments though: “allow horse to travel over back and stretch to contact.” I was practically BEGGING P to do that, to no avail.

My friend was the photographer there, so we’ll see if she got any good pictures.

I ended up scratching from Novice B because when I exited the arena is when the Monster decided his life was practically over and couldn’t hold his anguish in any longer. So it was time to go. The show people were sooo nice and said she’d let me know when all of the people in my division were scored and she would drop off my test at the barn the next day.

This is for real one show series I’m going to support. Talk about going above and beyond.

The next day she dropped off my test and this!

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$40 for a $2 ribbon?

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I’m a satin fan, guilty as charged.

Tomorrow is my first lesson with PNT! Wish us luck!

10 thoughts on “Return to the Show Ring!”

  1. Wow, that show management sounds amazing! I wish we had a series like that here, our local organizers are of the grumpy variety 🙂 Congrats on a successful outing, it sounds like there was a lot of good that came out of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. wooo congrats on pulling out some nice scores despite the tense dragon-y horse! and based on those pics it sounds like he’s getting closer and closer to getting back to where you had him too 😀 plus discovering a friendly and well run and LOCAL show venue sounds like a major win to me, yay!

    Liked by 1 person

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