Thursday, July 25, 2019

WNYDA Summer Fest II

(I had this post ready to go out the door a couple days ago, but fancy pants pictures were needed. Thanks again to Emily of Cavaletti Photo for offering such a great deal on such incredible work!)

hands down the sweetest person ever, and she
consistently went out of her way for everyone to grab
some candid shots when she had time. i love how pleased
this kid looks after his first test of the weekend.

Oof, getting out the door at 3am for the second day in a row was tough. The one good thing was that both mornings had the most amazing displays of heat lightning illuminated by bright moonlight for the entire drive down topped off with gorgeous purplely sunrises.

Gotta find the small wins, you guys. Because my old ass needed a nap by about nine in the morning.

Our rides times on day two were also bumped up by an hour, but we actually had a gorgeous 75* and windy day. My 7:24 first ride was downright pleasant. Dopie felt much more settled coming off the trailer and had his #childgenius cap on instead of his tweaker pants.

Confident the brain was in there, I only gave him fifteen minutes for warm up and it was plenty. I ended on a good spot and asked the ring steward if the rider before me had scratched--I knew her and hadn't seen her anywhere. The office said she hadn't, and no one else had been told she was scratched, but she wasn't in any of the warm ups so I went out the gate steward and they radioed that I was going to take her spot since she wasn't there. They sent me in and around the ring we went....over and over and over.

the light at 7am made for great pics in the indoor warm
up, but it was also literally blinding while riding.

The show organizer had gone to the judge to make sure she knew who I was, and for whatever reason that caused much chaos to untangle. I don't know why. I do know my old ass did not appreciate all that extra sitting trot.

Second 3

(don't watch if you get sea sick. i think hubby was in the midst
of seizure during this one.)


Opie didn't feel quite as soft or forward for this test, and that directly lends itself to bouncing around off the contact more. He definitely had a more difficult time with the lateral work this morning as well, and our steady 6 and 6.5s from Saturday got deservedly knocked down to 5s and 5.5s. The walk work--even the TOH-- are usually a given, but he got quite stuck in both of those and that really crushed us with 4s. That was a big bummer because we got 7s on them the day before.

showing off that lovely neck

The canter work came back with a solid line of 6s even though it didn't feel great. The second counter canter serpentine I had to hold back a laugh as I finished, and talking to a friend who watched afterwards we were both like, "WOW THAT WAS SPESHUL." The balance started to careen out of control and--if it looks bad in the video, it's nothing compared to how it really went down--I had to half yank him over to finish the turn without falling over. And we almost fell over anyway. The judge's comment was "struggling on counter loop". Good lord, yes. Yes we were.

The last three movements were 7s though, and he actually scored a 7 on gaits. Her overall comment was: Needs steadier contact, but capable pair. Work to establish a supple, balanced connection. We finished with a 58% for third, actually beating people--multiple people!

there are moments in there where he looks like a real second level pone, and
not a 6yo, 18 months off the track pone

I was marginally bummed that we didn't pull a 60% out of this judge since my 61% from the day before was from the judge I already had a score from. We have allll next year at Second though, and I was so proud of my green bean for keeping his shit together and doing the thing. All his problems are just greenness and strength issues. He's perfectly capable, it just needs to grow up to score better. I'm not mad at that.

when you halt square but you have side eye for everyone

Our second test of the day wasn't until 2:28. It was a LONG FUCKING DAY. I got on earlier than I needed to in hopes that it would make the time feel like it was going faster. Nah. No such fucking luck. I chatted with the final rider of the day as we waited to close out the show, and with one rider in front of me, I got Opie going really well. He nailed the warm up. I didn't want to dial in this First test again, and really wanted to finish out the weekend knowing I had tried my best for a good score.

First 1


We got one lap around the ring before the judge rang the bell right as we passed A. Have I mentioned how much I hate when they do that? Because I really hate when they do that. I got all flustered and had to make a wonky short turn around and headed in with a trot I wasn't happy with. The judge was cool with it and gave us an 8 to start, but the rest of the test was again solid 6s and 6.5s with a 7 for the walk and a 4 for picking up the wrong canter lead.

Those quick transitions in Second get Opie paying attention and ready to roll, so he kept trying to step right back into the canter after the trot at X. He got kind of jiggy and after being shut down several times, he was all twisted up and didn't get the correct lead. I got it corrected and went right into the lengthened canter for a 6.5. Never get stuck on one movement, folks!

not being able to braid his forelock made him pretty cute actually

Final comment: Steady, obedient and balanced. Could see more elastic and expressiveness in the gaits. Good luck. A 62+% put us in fourth in another big class which left us with a 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th for the weekend. This made my rainbow ribbon heart happy.

Overall, while maybe the scores weren't as high as we've gotten in the past or that we're capable of, I'm totally calling this show a success all around. I felt like I rode four clean tests for the first time all year. There weren't any mistakes were I came out mad at myself for being a fucking idiot, or mad at my horse for not stepping up and participating.


I'm also glad I was able to get video so everyone can see that you don't need a fancy horse or to even be a particularly talented rider to participate at this level. I'm all about spreading the word of mediocrity, yo. Not that you should be delusional about your abilities--I'm the first to admit I'm a floppy weakling--or that you shouldn't be trying to train your hardest or as correctly as you can--because I do both of those things--but dressage doesn't need to be taken so seriously. (Waits for a post to come out about how dressage/training/riding should be taken super seriously because this is super serious business and you're doing your horse a super serious disservice if you ever score below a 65%.)

can't wait to work more on bringing that balance back this winter

I'm not saying settle. I am saying go the fuck out there and try the thing. Go have fun if it makes you happy. Judges will reward you everywhere they can, and the majority of them are going to give you some great comments on how to improve your weak areas.

In the meantime, Dopes and I are going to suffer through enough First tests to pick up some scores for our GMO year end awards, and keep plugging away at 2-3 so that next year it feels easy fucking peasy. But first we're gonna do some more napping.

always a pat for this side eye king

27 comments:

  1. “I'm not saying settle. I am saying go the fuck out there and try the thing. Go have fun if it makes you happy. Judges will reward you everywhere they can, and the majority of them are going to give you some great comments on how to improve your weak areas.”

    I don’t think that this can be said too many times. Showing can be fun if you let it. Since I am not going to the olympics who cares if I flail around ?

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    1. Exactly. The only reputation I have to worry about is my own, and I don't care if I have some very flail-ful scores on my record if I enjoyed myself.

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  2. “I am saying go the fuck out there and try the thing. Go have fun if it makes you happy”

    This. Over and over and over again.

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  3. god I really love him. He seriously looks fantastic. If you ever decide you want to give up riding and take up a sane hobby like knitting or moonlighting as a super hero I wanna be your first call :P

    I also really like this post. I've had so much fun reading your blogs lately and it's given me a lot of hope and ideas for me and Spicy. Thank you for sharing!!

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    Replies
    1. You and Spicy are going to be out there owning shit before you know it!

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  4. Hell yes, hallelujah and amen. I will be a loving disciple of mediocrity #4lyfe and love the message to just get out there and try the damn thing. Y’all look great, I love the candid shots too <3

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  5. " am saying go the fuck out there and try the thing. Go have fun if it makes you happy. Judges will reward you everywhere they can, and the majority of them are going to give you some great comments on how to improve your weak areas."

    I realize I'm repeating what two other posters have said, but... so much this <3

    Opie looks so grown up.

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    Replies
    1. He's getting there, in between his #childsatan moments ;)

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  6. Hahaha I've had my OTTB 5 years and we're still at Training so I think you're doing great!!! (In our defense we didn't start out doing dressage... and I'm totally new at it and accept full responsibility for our super slow progress)

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    Replies
    1. Every horse and rider advances differently, nothing wrong there!

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  7. The giant fucking cross in that arena distracted me.. wtf... does it double as a church?

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    Replies
    1. It's a private Christian college--which I didn't know until the second or third time I went there, and now I try to keep my heathen mildly in check so no one smites me.

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  8. :0) :0) :0)
    Killing it AND having fun!

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  9. YES!!! More people should just GO TRY and enjoy getting out there and going for it in dressage. Am I ready to show 1-3 tomorrow? Probably not. Am I gonna do it anyway? HELL YES. My pony is 21, I may not get another chance to do this with him, and it would be amazing to qualify for a championship class. So I'm going for it. And honestly, it's not like in a jumping sport where you could really get hurt if you overfaced yourself or your horse. It's just dressage. What's the worst that could happen, you get a little embarrassed?! Thanks for this fantastic post and congrats on another great show!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, please no one hurtle themselves over Prelim just because you're feeling kind of okay about your jumping abilities lol. But I think dressage can be super open and inviting if you want it to be.

      You guys are going to completely fucking rock 1-3, I know it!!

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  10. I always tell people, the only thing you're going to hurt moving up a level in dressage is your ego! (Disclaimer: obviously within reason, but I'm talking about the rider safety aspect)

    Everyone has different goals, I have some clients who would quit if they scored as low as some of my other clients' goal scores. The key is knowing yourself (and/or your clients) and figuring out what works for you so that showing can be a fun experience. Sounds like you did just that and had a great weekend!

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  11. Yay for a great two days of showing! I love the "go out and do the thing" reminder, because it is so true! And I am with L about that cross; definitely made me do a wtf double take hahahaha!

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  12. That canter!! And thank you for the reminder to go DO THE THING and have fun. I need that like 100x a week :)

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  13. You guys are killin' it! And give yourself some more credit! You took this baby ottb (who by the way IS quite fancy) and got him to second level in a year. That's fantastic. It didn't happen without you!

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  14. You've given me just the encouragement I need - RedMare and I HATES the dressage and I am loath to go to a pure dressage show because we'd bomb so bad. But we need to do it and if we're trying our best, that's all that matters. It doesn't have to be perfect. Although say what you want about Dopie, I think he can't put a foot wrong! He's too adorable to be anything but a saint.

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  15. Yay Opie!!! You guys looked fabulous- sounds like the scoring was a bit tough. I have to know- What does your hubby use to video? Your videos were crystal clear!

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    1. He uses my big Nikon. I usually bring a monopod for it for video because it gets heavy fast, but I forgot this time which is why it turned out shaky.

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  16. Nice! I have a D5600 and have never tried to video on it. Now it know! Thanks!!

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    1. You have to switch over to live view on mine, but the quality is so much better than my little Nikon or my phone.

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