I’ve been working on this post for FIVE DAYS NOW. Thanks, work. Better late than never though, right?
Saturday morning came way too fast. My ride times didn’t start until 2:13, but BO was going at 10 so we had to leave the barn by 7:15. SO EARLY.
We got to the venue at 9 AM, unloaded, and checked in. And that’s when it started.
P is a solid citizen at shows. In a stall or at the trailer, just give him hay and he’s good to go. But we’re always alone…this time we had with us none other than the object of his intense bromance, Sandero.
I only have one tie ring on each side of my trailer so Sandero had to go on the opposite side. And P lost his ever loving mind.
But it had to happen sometime, since I would like to continue showing with friends. So while my horse flailed around like a crazed maniac loose from the looney bin, BO poured me a healthy sized glass of wine, no matter that it was 10:30 AM. BO is a great show partner.
Then the super nice show management team took pity on me and cut the judge’s break short so I could get my 1st ride in two hours early. And then weaved me in a few rides later. It was my first time riding in front of an “S” judge, and I was pre-warned that she was a seriously tough cookie. Only one rider out of over 25 had scored in the 60’s with a 62%. No pressure.
Despite P’s intense psychotic-ness at the trailer and the beginning of our warmup, he settled down for the most part after a few minutes in warmup. Since I was the first to go after the break, the venue’s owner told me when I rode by the judge to let her know I was going out of order and was doing Novice A. So I head over there on P…both car windows are up, with both the judge and the scribe just staring at me. I halted for a second, unsure of what to do, and the judge BLEW HER HORN IN OUR FACES. Like, we were literally less than 2 ft in front of her. And it wasn’t a polite little honk, either. Thankfully P just stood there and didn’t even flinch. But she had no way of knowing how he’d react, so I thought that was incredibly rude. But I turned around and we headed down CL. If she didn’t have the right test, probably all the better anyway.
Surprisingly, we actually put in a decent test, save for the right lead canter circle in the first test where I panicked as we got super close to B and he was kinda like, “Naaahh.” And then another panicky moment at the end of the circle when we were fast approaching F and P was all “FREEEEDOMMMM” instead of coming down to the trot. But it was our first time doing Novice A, which was a nice break from the BN tests, and I was just happy he was as rideable as he was (re: no longer the lunatic he had been shortly before).
I finally took the time to add in the scores/comments for each movement. That took forever so you’re welcome for the effort.
Final score: 35 (or 65%)
Then we waited for a few more riders to go, and they let me go again. My original plan, and the reason for doing Novice A twice, was to ride, get my scoresheet and see the comments, then do it again while trying to fix the issues from the original test. It was a great plan, but since they were fitting me in before my ride times, it didn’t happen like that.
P wasn’t thrilled to be going back in- I could practically feel the disdain radiating off of him when I started the customary circle around the dressage arena. This time he gave me some issues in both canters, his free walk was non-existent (seriously…aimed him across the diagonal at K and felt him immediately suck back), but that halt…woot! It exists! I’ve been trying to unlock that baby for awhile.
Final score: 37 (or 63%)
I’m glad I went- it was low cost and a relaxed atmosphere, and the venue management was incredibly friendly. While better scores would’ve been nicer, I didn’t go for the scores, but solely to make it through a test while feeling I somewhat RODE my horse instead of sat there only thinking about the next movement. I left feeling like I did that somewhat in the first test…then the second test I had a brain freeze at the 2nd trot circle and never got fully out of my head after that.
All that means is more practice is needed. I would love to be able to get to some with Trainer J to really maximize our warmup and have her be able to see us in competition, because in lessons I’m much more relaxed and it shows in P. After going to that show with Trainer B last year, I’ve seen the light and how helpful it is to have a trainer with you. Not that I won’t go without one #adultammyproblems but I’m making it a goal to make it to at least one with Trainer J.
And here are some cherry picked screen shots in case you don’t want to watch paint dry, aka, a lower-level dressage test.