Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Houghton Spring Dressage II

I was whooped after day one, but I had perfectly respectable ride times for day two. I was able to sleep in until 7:30, get some house work done, and get to the barn with plenty of time to re-bathe and braid Opie if needed. Fortunately his braids stayed in even with a few hours of turnout, and besides a couple of poop spots from sleeping that got quick Cowboy Magic treatment, he was good to go.

Unfortunately, I was crawling around the barn trying not to throw my guts up. I felt fucking awful all morning long with a pounding headache and constant nausea. I think the heat got to me worse than I thought the day before despite my best attempts to stay super hydrated. Opie, for his part, didn't seem any worse for wear, and we got off easy with temps in the 60s Saturday. At least one of us can handle early death summer well!

Parking was atrocious yet again, and since I was literally the only one working out of my trailer I was stuck trying to find a spot to finagle my trailer into by myself. I got it stuffed in by the barn, but while we were closer to everything than the day before we weren't in view of any horses. This was very upsetting to Opie whose ADD brain was having a lot of trouble not being a complete tool at the trailer.

not at the trailer.
looking for horses to be besties with anyway.

It started right off the bat when he couldn't wait two seconds for me to finish dropping the butt bar while I unloaded him and he blew through it right as I unhooked it and then he fell off the ramp into a big dumb heap on the ground. So that was a great way to kick off the morning although at least he was none the worse for wear for it.

We only had about an hour to blow before I had to get on for the first test, so I grabbed my water and we went back over ringside to watch some Second level tests.

this arabian stallion reminded me of speedy

Training 3

Warm up started out pretty well at the walk and trot. When I asked him to pick up the canter, he was all, "I do not know what leads are." And I was like, "That is false."

He's gotten to the point where I no longer have to bodily throw him onto the correct lead, and I've been asking for them like I would on a normal horse without issue. Yeah, not so much here. It was either pick up the incorrect lead or just not pick it up at all. The ring steward called us over to go in, and with one last attempt I did bodily throw him onto the left lead and make him do a circle before going over.

I've ridden for this judge before with Bobby--she's a 6 judge. She will give you a 6 for everything unless you really give her a reason to do otherwise. We kicked things off with a whopping 7 for the first center line and halt and then got all 6s except for 7s for the walk work.

The red flowers decorating the letters that Opie didn't give two fucks about the day before were suddenly offensive to him, and every time he passed them he tried to drift away. That's a lot of letters in a standard arena. That was a lot of drifting to keep a lid on. We got some comments about needing to be straighter, which uhhh completely warranted.

Final comments though were in capital letters and underlined, "Capable horse" with another 7 for gaits. Dem judges love them some Opie. Still, a line of 6s only got a 62.5% which was a titch higher than T3 the day before but only got us a 5th this day. We beat people though, and pink is much better than yellow! He even got both leads and offered a little real stretching at the trot.

still looking for some besties.

We came out of the ring and the show organizer (who also runs the college's equestrian program) was standing with the bit check volunteer. She asked me how old he was and what his breeding was and then told me he was really lovely--he just looked like he was a little wide-eyed the whole test. Well, yes. Red flowers and no besties are very disconcerting!

We had a split of more Second tests and then an arena drag before our next test, so I grabbed some lunch and went back to the ring to watch a few tests. Opie was grateful to be in the presence of horses again and took a nap.

how cute is this stocktie? and my horse about to bash me in
the head with his own head because bugs.

When I brought him back to the trailer to get my things around, he lost his fool mind.


Y U being so crazy, Opie? Let me show you!

do you see them? his new besties? i didn't either until i was
up in my dressing room. 

We still had quite a bit of time before I needed to start warming him up, but I threw his tack on and got mounted to go over to the rings anyway. The last thing I wanted was for him to escalate and learn he can get free of the trailer. I parked him in an a corner completely out of the way of the two horses in the ring and hung out for a good bit before starting his own warm up.

Training 1

My goal for this test was to not get beat by POINT TWO FUCKING PERCENT. We could have gotten beat by ten points and I would have been okay with that. The judge wanted to see more energy in the last test so I really put the gun to Opie and got him pushing. BM's last lesson of making him dance beneath me was in my head as I sent him forward, rebalanced, and sent him forward again.

As we made our lap around the outside of the ring, Opie was like, "Look at the other h--" And immediately I was on him to pay attention and push, dammit!

"but look over there at my besties!"

We marched in for a 7.5 right off the bat, laid down a line of 6.5s, 7s for the walk work again, 7s for the right lead canter and trot transition, and threw down an 8 for the final halt. He wanted to look around quite a bit so I got a little handsy playing with the bit to keep his attention on me which the judge commented on in the final comments ("Keep steadier hands"). She liked the forward though ("much better tempo this test--good job!"), and again commented that he was "willing and CAPABLE" (her caps) with a big smiley face and a "good luck!"

I ran up to the bathroom and checked the board to see if scores had been posted yet (they hadn't) and ended up chatting with another competitor who was bemoaning how low the scores were all day. Almost everyone throughout the levels were topping out at 65%. She'd gotten 7% lower than the day before for a test she thought rode better and we were both like, "Meh, 6 judge, what are you going to do?"

So imagine my surprise when I went back up a little later to grab my test and was handed a blue ribbon--with a 68%!

first place at pining for besties

what whaaat!!

Needless to say, there were much cookies given and grudgingly taken (because cookies are barely acceptable when all you want is besties) before loading up and heading home.

Opie got Sunday and Monday off and goes back to work today to prepare for another show this Sunday. I've been trying my hardest to guilt trip Hubby into coming to this one since Saturday's show was on my birthday and he missed it completely. Hopefully the next recap will have real media!

34 comments:

  1. Man Opie is a legit professional!! Look at that score!! I love that even the ribbons look like him haha

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    1. I dunno, that grey horse isn't falling down soo... :P

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  2. Nice work!! What a great show and first time showing rated. :-)

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    1. I really couldn't have asked for a much better debut from him at this point!

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  3. HELL YES DOPIE DOES DRESSAGE!!!!!! #legitunicorn

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    1. He needs his own unicorn stock tie to prance around in!

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  4. blue satin looks the best on him just saying :) Great job (I was spoiled a bit by Instagram so kind of knew you guys did pretty damn good). I am so glad even with his search for besties (And Remus at 15 is the same way albeit not as enthusiastic as Opie on looking for besties) he held his shit together for you and did so well. He is so pretty braided too :) Opie you the cutest! :) Happy belated Birthday! :) Glad you got a blue for that too :)

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    1. I'm so glad once we went to the rings each time he mostly got over his bestie search and went to work.

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  5. Woot! He looks great in blue :)

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    1. Probably need a couple more of those this weekend!

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  6. Yay!!!! I was so excited for you when I saw this on social media. Sounds like you did a fantastic job managing him and I could certainly learn things done you about showing my own baby horse ;)

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    1. Opie says the biggest takeaway is to surround yourself with besties. Doesn't matter if they're aware of your existence or not. ;)

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  7. This is so exciting! I'm really impressed that despite his brain falling out about the far away besties, he got his brain back in his head for the actual test. Not all horses can do that, especially young ones!
    Congrats on winning at your very first rated show together! So awesome!

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    1. I'm glad I didn't even give him the chance to make bad life choices because he was really starting to get himself worked up while I saddled him. Note for future shows: park somewhere surrounded by besties.

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  8. Hell yes!!! Congrads on the blue satin, even if there weren't any besties!

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  9. Yay! Congrats on all the non yellow ribbons!

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  10. Wow! Look at that blue! Opie is a real horse now.

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  11. YAYAY, another successful outing! So glad he was able to refocus even after the shenanigans. (and love your stockbubble tie! :D)

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    1. Now if only I could get some pics of the tie in action!

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  12. Wow!!! A 68% and a blue at your first rated show together- fantastic! Way to go! LOL at Opie yearning for besties- I used to have one like that and it drove me bonkers. You at least seem to have a good sense of humor about it!

    <3 Kelly @ HunkyHanoverian

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    1. He kept the screaming down to almost nothing so it was bearable. I think if he had called to them as much as he was looking at them, I would have freed him and never returned. ;)

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    1. So good! Now I just need to ride better so the judges like me, too lol!

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  14. Yay!!!! What a good set of outings for Opie, and a blue and great score to boot. Congrats!

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    1. It was the best way to wrap up the show!

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  15. Very well done to both of you. Love the judge's caps emphasis.

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    1. "Capable horse, rider should sit the fuck up." #truth

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