Wonderful thing #1
As some of you long time readers may know, I haven’t had good luck with dressage shows.
First there was the November schooling show, complete with a very tough judge and a scoring mistake.
Then there was the May triple rated show, where at the last minute we switched me from training to intro level based on Farley being a bit….difficult in the canter transition AND a judge switch that now had me riding under the same judge as November. As much as it was gratifying to know that under *most* judges my second test would have been a 60 or above from my trainer…..I still wanted an OFFICIAL 60 or above on a test DARN IT!
Which brings us to yesterday’s Maxfield schooling show.
Being a schooling show, I got to do training tests 1 and 2, with the added motivation of if I did well, I may be able to show those at the next July recognized show.
For some magical, unknown reason, the week before the show Farley has decided that I now deserved a canter transition. I was on pins and needles – finally I was getting the transition, but would I have it at the show?
I warmed up and exclaimed to my trainer as she rushed past, “I LIKE the horse I have today!”
My first test (training 1) went well….but I knew I could do better. I figured it was in the high 50’s. The transitions happened, but they were rough, she was a bit behind my leg, AND I lost my stirrup during the canter transition that occured in FRONT of the judges stand and her throughness and roundness suffered as I tried to get it back. It was accurate and it was clean so it would be close to a 60, depending on how nice the judge was.
I didn’t have time to look at my scores for the first test before heading into the court for training 2. I warmed Farley up briefly with canter transitions both ways, and then headed to the court. I came down center line like a princess, all smiles. In the halt, Farley didn’t drift and I didn’t micro manage. Down to the judges stand we went. We were doing a decent job, but I was dissapointed with the quality of forwardness of the trot during the change of rein. That is usually our best move and she was behind my leg most of the movement.
Finally our last canter transition.
I sat up tall, prepared her, and then asked…..and got…..one of our best transitions EVER into canter. All was left was a 20 meter circle and then a turn down center line.
I halted (without drifting!), smiled, and saluted. Then managed to suppress my scream of “DID YOU SEE THAT LAST TRANSITION!!!!” until I exited the court (mostly).
I was cooling out Farley when my beloved reader called out to me “Melinda, you are going to want to see this”.
I walked over and immediately starting saying things like:
“I hope it’s a 60”
“I really want a 60”
“If it isn’t a 60, I’m going to bite Farley’s ears off”
“I don’t care if it isn’t a 60, she was a good girl and came through for me”
Now, I don’t have my exact scores for you, because I wrote them on my hand to post to the blog, and I washed my hands, and now….no scores. Training 1 was a 67 point something and Training 2 was a 74 point something. I broke a 70!
I was estastic. FINALLY confirmation I’m doing something right. My first test (Training 1) went about like most of my tests in a show – accurate and clean – but nothing spactacular, so a score in the 60’s is about right. My second test definately went better than ANYTHING I have schooled so while I might never see another score in the 70’s EVER, I’m happy right now.
I picked up my first place prizes – a gorgeous whip with a white leather handle, and a pair of boot socks – and continued to enjoy show.
And then they called out the high score f the show….and it was ME! I couldn’t believe it. I’m now the very proud owner of a REAL wool cooler that is embordered! It’s a size 80 so it’s a bit big, and my trainer/show organizer offered to let me trade it for one of the saddle pad prizes…ARE YOU KIDDING!!!! I’ll make it work even if I have to have it altered!!!!! Farley can now advertize her greatness.
Wonderful thing #2
I did a cross country clinic the afternoon after the show! Farley jumped everything she was pointed at! We did a ditch, a coffin, some up and down banks, and some combinations. It was incredibly fun. Farley is such a good girl. Some of the logs were jumping were quite big! I definately make mistakes, but she’s turning out to be an honest jumper. She hasn’t stopped at a jump yet. I think she does much better at cross country than jumping poles. I think because she looks at logs etc and because of her endurance back ground is like “of COURSE I’m suppose to go over that!” With the poles she’s much more hesitant. Is there anything this horse can’t do????? I definatly like doing jump/cross country lessons as a group. It’s fun to watch the others, and I do much better seeing it done before I have to try it.
Wonderful thing #3
I got to read tests! One first level test 4, and then 2 second level test 1’s……it was a lot of fun, although I’m definately not ready to read a test much past the second level one I did….it gets complicated and the timing has to be right on…..Still, I was flattered to be asked. The person (Ashely) who reads my tests is very very good at it, and I think I’ve learned a lot about reading a test, by just having her read my tests.
Overall a fabulous day. Of course there was a wonderful BBQ afterwards and games on into the evening.
I DO have pics….but can’t upload them on the local coffee shop internet for some reason. They will post tomorrow!