Monday, June 4, 2018

Houghton Spring Dressage I

Once again I have no riding media for this show. There wasn't a photographer (for shame because I always buy pro pictures when they're available), and it's spring so I pretty much never see ag-working Hubby this time of year. Oh well. I'm well used to showing alone, and it's worked out well to just dump Opie right into it and expect him to deal.

STILL WISH I HAD SOME PICTURES THO.

he enjoys ripping the hay out of the net then eating it off the ground.
actually i think he just enjoys ripping my fucking nets to shreds.

I know that you're all really here to find out if Opie got on the trailer. And he did! Both Friday and Saturday morning he put on the brakes as soon as I pointed him at the trailer, but we had the briefest of discussions about how the feet don't get to stop moving until he's paying attention to me. It took all of five minutes combined for both mornings and on he went. Heading home from the show he marched right on without a second thought.

I got Opie unloaded and we went for a brief hand walk around the ring to check out the flowers before stopping in the barn to get his tail re-washed. I needed to check in and get my packet, so for the first time I left him tied to the trailer unsupervised. He was in sight of one of the barns with a bunch of people milling around so I wasn't too worried if he got loose or got himself in trouble, but when I hustled back he was hanging out in the same place I left him munching his hay. Phew! First hurdle passed!

searching for horses in this desolate wasteland. 

It was balls hot Friday--in the mid eighties with 80% humidity and full sun with no breeze. Essentially the worst horse show weather known to man... or woman in a sports bra. We had a little bit of shade to start the morning in our parking spot, but that probably had more to do with it being six in the morning than anything. By the time I went in for our first test at 7:37am, I was already dripping sweat.

Training 1

After being a complete fuckwit Thursday, I was happy to have my normal child genius back under me warming up for the first test. He felt a little sluggish, but he's a lazy dude. I got up at three in the morning and was drowning in my own sweat; I was sluggish, too.

Half awake and on complete autopilot, the judge rang the bell and I turned Opie in to the ring following the tracks of the horse before me. First mistake there, as the horse before me hadn't entered straight and we started the test off center line. Dumb ass. Needless to say when I got my test back and saw that comment I didn't repeat that mistake for the rest of the show.

The entirety of the test proceeded to be a string of 6s and 6.5s with one 7 for the medium walk because Opie has a great walk even when sleeping. It's so great he would like to stay in it forever and I had to pony club kick him at A to pick the trot back up.

The whole test was fine. Just fine. He got a 7 for his gaits as well, but it was a boring test with both of us just plunking along doing our thing. The judge's comments were that he's a "talented horse!". She wanted to see him more through in the transitions, especially the canter work "for even higher scores". Seeing as how I took a month off of cantering this horse because it sucked so bad, I'll allow it. Definitely a work in progress there.

We ended up with a 64.348% for second... POINT TWO PERCENT behind first place. RIDE YOUR OWN DAMN CENTER LINE, YOU FOOL.

best baby horse deserved a blue

Our second test wasn't until noon-ish so we had four hours to kill. I spent it reapplying sunblock and fly spray every hour on the hour and forcing myself to drink nonstop while we hung out ringside to watch the FEI tests. Mostly I did the watching and Opie alternated napping, grazing, and licking the bleachers while being admired by the people sitting beside me. He didn't make a peep though and didn't make a nuisance of himself which was all I cared about.

i loved this lady's shad.
opie was getting his learn on for future goals.

Training 3

When I got back on for the briefest of warm ups, Satan made a reappearance from the day before. Opie wanted to give a big old Pass to dressaging. Even though it was so hot out, I opted to give him a little canter right off the bat to see if it settled him any. The second I put my leg on he blasted off and when he hit my hand he went up and tried to spin. He's done this on the ground a few times--most recently after breaking the crossties the night before while I was braiding him, and it usually ends with him on his ass falling down so I wailed him in the ribs and he jumped forward out of it before we both landed on the ground.

I think that knocked most of the stupid out of him because I was able to go right back and pick up a normal canter.

Still, we went into the ring (straight, and on the center line) wobbling all over the place. He wanted to stare at the horses outside the ring and was just generally feeling like a very green horse--much more green than he currently is. The judge gave us a couple more 7s, but our 6.5s were knocked down to 6s and our stretchy circle was spent staring at the world around us and earned a well deserved 5.

"Promising horse", another note to work on transitions, and that the right lead canter was better this test. That earned a 62+% which put us in third out of seven.

i hate the color yellow and i seem to always come home with 3rd.
my barn mates think this is the funniest thing ever.

Overall it was a really good first day of his rated debut. We were out of there around 2 (we were the first ride in T3), but since we got there so early it was a long day. Opie was eaten alive by the bugs, but I was able to leave him a few times at the trailer to run to the office and not have to worry about him getting into trouble which was a huge win for me.

And while he was a fruitcake for warm up for the second test, the judge really liked him and I only have myself to blame for missed points. Ride better, get better scores because the judge wants to give them to Dopie Horse. That's motivation for sure!

Stay tuned for day two redemption!

20 comments:

  1. What an awesome first day tho! I mean, I know yellow isn't your fave but... SATIN!!!

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    1. It hasn't yet completely overwhelmed all the other colors we've gotten so far so I'll allow it. ;)

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  2. Sounds like he was a very good boy overall, it's hard to keep a baby horse brain in the game and Opie sounds like he's figuring this horse show thing out! I don't hate the yellow satin :)

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    1. For this being his third show ever, I can't say I'm disappointed!

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  3. Opie prefers shows to schooling, haha! What a good boy!

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    1. He really thinks schooling is just the worst.

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  4. gosh i just love him ;) can't wait to read about tomorrow!!

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    1. He is a very good Dopie Horse most of the time!

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  5. Damn girl, nice scores for his first rated show!

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  6. Those are GREAT scores for your first rated show together- and great ribbons too! So glad you guys pulled it together after an iffy warm up. Cannot wait to hear about day 2! Congrats!

    <3 Kelly @ HunkyHanoverian

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    1. Day 2 went much better, which is saying something since day 1 wasn't bad at all!

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  7. Wow! Congrats, those are fantastic results!

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    1. Better than I was expecting against some fancy pants WB babies!

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  8. He really is a child genius most of the time. Pretty typical young horse drama having to go ride AGAIN. But you got him over that quickly, so maybe he'll remember for next time. I'm so excited for you and Opie, things are starting off great!

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    1. He definitely could have been worse with how much he was expected to work this weekend. I'm glad I focused on putting some more fitness on him!

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If you can't say anything nice, fuck off.