Tuesday, May 6, 2014

WRC Dressage Show

Holy shit. I think it's a good thing I didn't get around to writing this post the day of the show because I'd be calling out names, and pointing fingers, and being way more of a colossal bitch than I plan on being now. Instead, I've let it go (a little) and I'm going to attempt to be super mature about the shit show that was this dressage circus. I'll just say upfront that EVERYONE running this show SUCKED.

The show was Sunday. We were supposed to get ride times Thursday (It said this on the show's website.). When we hadn't gotten ride times by 8:30pm Friday, I emailed the secretary. "Oh, sorry, lolz! I'm still accepting entries so hopefully I'll have them out later tonight!"

Uh, what?

Saturday morning, we were finally emailed times. I was set with my three rides in the afternoon, which were nowhere close to my barn mate L's times--even though I'd emailed the secretary the week before, and she'd confirmed that she'd put us as close together as she could since we were hauling up together, and L had to get back to school by that evening.

which meant i blew some time braiding robert while we waited....and waited.

Then I talked to L's mom T at the barn show Saturday where she realized L hadn't even been given a time for her Training 3 test. T called the secretary, the secretary assured her she'd fix the schedule, and then she emailed us all new ride times...three more times Saturday night! Did L finally get her T3 time? Nope.

We loaded up, hauled the hour to the show, and Bobby gets out a sweaty mess because apparently he doesn't like hauling in a slant load. Poor dude. Hubby grazed him while I ran up to check L and I in. The secretary didn't seem to have any recollection of needing to put a time in for L, so she just stuck her in during the lunch break. At least she had a time now!

tasha is bobby's absolute favorite lady horse in the entire world.

Hubby and I went up to watch L do her T3 test where we waited....and waited....and waited....

She finally got to go in an hour after her freshly scheduled ride time, did her test, and then had to hang out in the pouring rain and insane wind for her second test. Hubby and I retreated to the car while Bobby grazed. The rain let up just as L went back into the ring so I took Bobby over to snap some pictures for her. Bobby was all, "Hey! I know them! Let's go say hi!!!" and attempted to walk right over the top of me in mission to be best friends with everyone. I gave him a hearty shank just as a woman walked by, and she gave me a disgusted look. Fuck you, lady. If you want to get run over by a 1200 pound dipshit, feel free.

The rain clouds blew over and the sun started to think about coming out when I went to get Bobby ready. The show was running about an hour and a half late at that point, and by the time I got on to warm up, I should have been riding my last test.

Bobby was pretty fresh warming up, probably bored out of his brains by that point and spurred on by the insane winds. We had a little w/t/c and headed across the way to wait for the last Training rider to go in--we were the first First pair to ride.

I checked with one of the girls standing by to make sure they were wrapping up Training, and she told me yes, but they were doing the Prix Caprilli class next. Uh, what? So I jumped off Bobby, refusing to sit on him for another half an hour doing nothing. Then another woman walks by and mentions that they're about to start the First riders. Wait, what?! There was no one official available (of course not!) so I went with what was supposed  to go next--that being ME--and got back on poor Bobby.

Let me tell you, the only thing harder than getting on your dancing 17hh horse in a western saddle while wearing skinny jeans? Getting on your braided 17hh horse in a dressage saddle. I had no mane or saddle horn to grab on to, and while Bobby was standing like a saint, I couldn't heft my giant ass up there despite needing to be in the ring now. I finally dropped my stirrup two holes, grabbed a fat button braid, and hauled myself up.

I checked with the judge to make sure we were all on the same page, and she blew the whistle for me to go in. Finally, right?


Just as I was about to go in, the judge blew her whistle again and called out that she didn't have her scribe back yet. YOU DIDN'T THINK OF THAT THE FIRST TIME YOU BLEW ME IN?!

So we kept trotting until the scribe came back and we were allowed to start.

The test was not great. Bobby felt like a fire breathing dragon as evidenced by his not so stellar (or even really existent) first halt, so I was riding super conservatively trying to keep him looking relaxed and happy. My reins were too long, Bobby does not do the whole "stretching" thing, and it was kind of a mess in general. But it was accurate and he kept a lid on it. The judges comment was, "I'd love to see you on a calmer day! Your horse seems like he's a little on his toes."

My horse seems like he's about as fed up with this fucking show as I am, lady. We ended up in second place with a 60% for 1-1.

I took him back to warm up to do a couple of leg yields, and he seemed more willing to get down to work. A half an hour later, we went back in for 1-2. He was a lot more settled this time around and put in what I thought was a pretty good test. His leg yields were a little crooked, but he's still not great at them even at home. We even got a couple of unsolicited "Nice job"s from spectators.

the camera died before the test finished.

The judge, however, disagreed. I don't think I've ever seen so many fives in my life. She didn't really have any comments besides "not working trot", "not working canter", "no difference shown" in lengthenings. Okay....I'm no dressage judge, and I'm hardly an expert dressage rider, but were we really going so slow that we didn't even hit a working trot? Another second place, and another 60%.

Back in we went for our final test. We circled the arena at the trot. And then we did it again...and again. The judge was busy with someone from the office and hadn't even glanced up at us yet. I brought Bobby back to the walk and we moseyed around the ring a couple more times before we finally got the whistle to go in. 

We trotted in down the center line, and as I'm watching the judge, I notice she's busy talking to her scribe and not watching us. Okay...I keep trotting and halt at X. She still hasn't acknowledged my existence.

We sit there at X for an entire minute before the judge notices us hanging out. "Oh, Carly! Ha ha, proceed."

I was so fucking tempted to just walk out and be done with it, but I was a grown up and ran through it. She gave us an 8 for our first halt. Amazing, since SHE DIDN'T EVEN SEE IT. I think we should have gotten a 10 for standing there immobile for so long. Instead, she threw us a 10 for our final halt. We got 8s for both counter canter loops, and an undeserved 8 for our change of lead through trot at X where Bobby scooted sideways two steps in the transition, almost came back to the walk, and then ended up on the rail well before H. 

We ended up with a 63% for first. 

piglet being a more attentive judge.

I got Bobby wrapped and groomed before heading up to collect my tests and ribbons. When I got up there, they didn't even have the 1-2 tests done yet. Why? Oh, just because some of the scores hadn't been written in so they had to be run back down to the judge to get filled in. 


BO tried to convince me to wait around to see if I got Champion or Reserve, but they were lumping the First riders in with Prix Caprilli and the one musical freestyle, and I was not waiting for that cluster fuck to finish for the chance of one more ribbon. 

We'd left the barn at nine that morning and didn't get back until 5:30. I think I can say with confidence that any show being run by that group of people is a definite no-go in the future. 


  1. Ugh lousy management is the worst. At least Robert seemed to handle it decently. And there's satin, and satin is good.

  2. Sorry about the sucky management... Nice scores and ribbons though!

  3. Hmm....the antics at this show sound A LOT like every. single. hunter show in Austin. Not joking.

    I just don't understand how no one is organized....? But congrats on your satin goodness, and for Bobs being (mostly) a Saint :)

  4. I think i might have punched someone.

  5. Rough. Poorly run shows just irk the shit out of me! So I'm proud of you for being mature :-D

  6. Argh...Robert still looks good regardless of all you went through. If I had had your day I definitely would have walked right out of the ring during my third test. Good job holding it together!!

  7. Lord, that sounds absolutely miserable. Kudos to you for not blowing up! There's no excuse for a show to be run so poorly! Well, at least you got some ring-time out of it!

  8. Urgh that sounds awful! Nasty weather, nasty people, do not make for good shows. High fives to you for still being a badass and riding thru it!

  9. Barf, what a terrible group! I mean...you know you are having a show. You know what you need to put it on, because presumably, you have done so before. So what's the problem?? Snaps to you for being a mature and reasonable person about it. Snaps to Bobby for not being a turd!

  10. What a frustrating experience! Good for you for handling it with such maturity and tact! I know we all share those feeling of inner fury when things go so... chaotically...

  11. Dude, I thought dressage shows were supposed to be better run than hj ones? That's crazy!

  12. Wow.. that sounds really unorganized for a dressage show. I would have given you a 10 for impersonating a statue.

  13. Wow. What the hell? I usually give show managers a lot of slack at shows, because organizing and running a show is crazy hard. But, that's just ridiculous! And the judge? Not paying attention after she blows the whistle? WTF?!

  14. 0.o What a disaster! Poor show management abounds everywhere, but sucky dressage judges are just the absolute worst. Completely defeats the purpose of putting up with shitty show managers! So was this your first time in your new dressage saddle?

    1. I had sat in it the day before the show and walked Bobby around the barn in it in his halter. That was my test ride. Fortunately it fits Bobby perfectly and is really comfy so it worked out well for the show!

  15. You're a saint for waiting at X that long! At least the next show can't possibly be worse...knock on wood.

  16. Uh that sounds like it was a disaster. Hopefully the next show will be run by saints!

  17. Nothing to say but WOW what a clusterfuck! Also, I didn't know that you were supposed to wait for the judge's acknowledgement, so...thanks. Haha.

  18. What a weekend. Hooray ribbons, I guess.

  19. I think I would've walked out. You have way more patience than I do!

  20. Nothing makes me angrier than a poorly run show - at least you got your satin!

  21. I so hear you, sister. Poorly run shows PISS ME OFF! The one and only show held here in town (and it's rated) is not as well run as I'd like. I skipped it completely this year in favor of a schooling show three hours away.


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