Monday, June 3, 2019

Houghton College Spring Dressage Show I

To no one's surprise but my own, my block headed midget turned on the judge whispering powers of #childgenius Friday and Saturday.

worth the rear it took to reinforce the halt earlier in the week? when they score
8s each time out, YEP. 

First though, two things.

Most importantly, all the insanely gorgeous pictures in these posts (and for the rest of eternity because not sure I'll ever stop using them) are thanks to Emily Knitter of Cavalletti Photo. She offered an incredible deal on preregistration, and not only was she super sweet and accommodating, she went out of her way to hunt us down in warm up for some candid shots when she had extra time between riders. 11/10 will give her my money any time!

Secondly, our young Dopie Horse may be going through a bit of a phase where working smarter and harder is not his cup of tea most days, but the brain I bought him for is firmly reinstalled. Without ever batting an eye he handled a loose, charging, man-eating wannabe stallion (no, but legit tho); two long days at the trailer book ended by loading and unloading like an absolute professional; several meet and greets with adoring fans/bored spectators while hanging out ringside; and the short side of the arena blowing over during one of our tests.

If he could leg yield without throwing a tantrum he'd basically be perfect. I'll keep him anyway I guess.

even if emily did comment on the fact that she couldn't do anything about the
donkey ears in half the pictures. 

On to the tests!

First 1

I'll be honest. My brain is so fried after three full days of horse showing that I probably won't remember many specifics. Warm up probably went well? I know we got signed up to escort a young mare past outdoor demons for the second year in a row because Dopie isn't the fanciest, but he's always the steadiest.

We went in and I got my brain melt over the center line out of the way first thing. I don't know why I'm not awake when I go in for my first test of a show, but here we are --AGAIN. I was staring at the connected section of board instead of the tape--and, you know, THE LETTER C--so was just off my center line. The halt was square and got a "good halt" comment...followed by "not on CL".

the cutest when his ears are up

The dumb didn't end there though. The tear drops were fine--a 7.5 and 6.5--when I then completely biffed the 20m stretchy circle. It was some weird 18m cracked egg shape that as I was trying to fix it I was like, "Dude, you have fucking got to get yourself together here!"

Fortunately the brief self flagellation worked. No more mistakes, and the rest of the test was steady and correct. We clawed our way to our coveted 6 AND 6.5 (!!!) for the lengthened trot which I was super proud of because I could feel that Opie knew what was being asked of him and really was trying his hardest to deliver. He's much better in the lengthened canter (#ottbpower) and threw down 7s for both of those. The walk was obviously a hit, and he finished by his rider finding the center line and getting the deserved 8 for the final halt.

"i'm goinggg, candy lady!"

The test felt good when I got done, but I wasn't sure how it was going to hold up. I'd checked the judge's scores for earlier tests and was horrified to see that barely anyone was clawing their way past 60%. Thankfully First doesn't compare to the FEI classes she'd been scoring up to that point, and she was much kinder to the lower level riders. Opie came away with a 66.89% for third place--one teensy tiny smidge behind the mare we did battle with for first at every show last year. You know what probably would have edged her out? Not riding my center line crooked. DOES THIS FOOLISHNESS SOUND FAMILIAR?! The horse that won was another fancy warmblood mare. All the shows around here place amateur and open together, so being third behind two pros on two fancy horses is okay by me.

First 3

We had just over an hour break between tests Friday which was nice. I was able to get home in enough time that Opie got a few hours of turnout with his besties to have a mental break before he had to go back the next day.

Warm up probably went okay for this test, too? I know that I didn't have time to get my first test back yet so still had no idea how we'd done or what the judge was looking for.

if she was looking for someone that knows how to
post the trot it sure wasn't me.

It was sunny and gorgeous out all day Friday. It was also windy AF. We were maybe three movements into our test when the whole short side of the arena at A started blowing over into the ring. Bless his little dopie heart, he didn't even turn an ear at the fallen boards whenever we went by them. It made the canter transition at A a little awkward, but the judge slid us a compensatory 7 for it. As soon as we finished, a horde of volunteers swarmed in to nail the boards into the ground and they all fawned over Opie who was like, "Hai, hello, thank you for the pets, why are you here?"

Other than that, another solid scoring test. Lots of 6.5s, a 5.5 for the first leg yield that he was locked up for, and another 5.5 for a way too large 15m circle at the fallen A. But he also racked up a line of 7s and 7.5s for the walk and canter work, plus two 8s for the first 15m circle and lengthened canter.

My flub in this test--and in the same test the next day--was the change of lead through trot. He can get super hollow and spastic during these, but also sometimes does them flawlessly. I was trying for conservative and just tipped his head to the new bend without touching him with my leg until I asked for the canter. Except I hadn't actually changed the bend so he picked up the left lead again. I fixed it right away, but still a 4.

sometimes an 8, sometimes a dumb.

Another 66+% for a fourth this time. Again, the joys of being a complete fucking Ammy but competing essentially as an Open rider.

Overall I couldn't have asked for better scores considering the drama someone was experiencing leading up to this. Plus the judge had some really good comments to work on for day two, and the rest of my life. Things like, clear transitions between the lengthenings will get you that extra half point and ride your geometry correctly, you fool. But we also got "harmonious (LOL) and capable pair that will only get better as he gets stronger."

I'll take it.

i probably take dressage more seriously than anyone on the planet

22 comments:

  1. Great job!! Love the fact his brain comes back when it matters the most. Also, love his donkey ears.

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    Replies
    1. Showing up at shows and being naughty at home certainly isn't the worst formula.

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  2. Congrats! I like your gray coat. And if only his grey coat could stay this shade of dappley perfection!

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    Replies
    1. Ugh, for real. Never get white and ugly!

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  3. excellent! And I am not surprised. Can Opie send a message to Carmen about being totally zen?

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    Replies
    1. He says she needs more naps in her life. :P

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  4. Of course he kicked ass because that's what Opies do!

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  5. Yay! What a great first First level outing! :-)

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    1. It was his second one of the year, but first rated outing--not a bad way to do it either!

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  6. Sounds like a totally awesome show from start to finish! Best donkey-eared (awwww!) steady boi. I'd take ten like him. Congrats on the scores and I am DROOLING over the photos. So awesome to hear about a photog with great packages available at dressage shows. I am gaga about that one with the mountain background.

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    1. They had a super photographer a few years ago, but she moved out of state. I really hope they keep bringing this one back as I will happily give her all my money she wants!

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  7. I think what Opie is trying to tell you is that he thinks practicing and stupid, and he should just go to shows all the time.
    Seriously though, you guys look amazing! The photos are beautiful, and I'm so glad you had a great day!

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    Replies
    1. He needs a show every single weekend. We have such a nice honeymoon period directly after them, too.

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  8. Great job, well done! Love his ears 😍

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  9. LOVE that last picture! Cheers to the #ChildGenius!

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  10. Woohoo! Sounds like a successful show!

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  11. You guy's rock!!! Cant wait to read more :)

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  12. Ovrall sounds like a win especially consider my horse would have had an absolute meltdown if part of the ring blew down while he was next to it.

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