Yesterday, for the first time all season, we hung a left out of the driveway and headed east instead of west. I have
|he's feeling fit and feisty right now. and by feisty i mean he generally picks up the|
canter on the first try. wild boi!
I felt good going into the show. While our scores showing rated weren't blowing anyone out of the water, no one else's were either and we were doing more than enough to keep up with everyone else. The competition at these schooling shows is blessedly softer, and even without that, Dopie has been feeling super in his work lately. I signed us up for 1-1, 1-3 because you need at least one score from the highest test for year end awards, and 2-3 because I want every chance I can get to ride it in a proper competition ring before winter and our narrow indoor is here for good.
The best part about this show was how little time I spent there. I had awesome ride times, and not long after pulling in, the ring steward came over to tell me they were running early and would be moving to the big ring to start our division shortly. I got dressed, got Opie tacked up, and we made our way over to warm up right as big black clouds blew in.
|such a jug head|
I wanted to flaunt my new grey gloves which don't go with either of my coats so show shirt it was. That was going great until the skies opened up and I was suddenly the leader of a wet t-shirt contest. I made Hubby run back to the trailer to grab my black coat and tie and we got on with warm up properly covered albeit thoroughly soaked.
|ooh, he was mad|
Starting warm up, he was so lazy and so behind my leg I momentarily became That Rider in the ring and pony club kicked the shit out of my horse a couple times until he was ready to rocket off my leg, and then we halted every time he tried to blow through a half halt. It was a really ugly five minutes, and I went around muttering "Sorry" to the other two riders--who honestly seemed blissfully unaware of anything untoward happening--but I came out the other side with the horse I have at home instead of a nappy, lazy, checked out toddler.
|me: helloooo, are you in there?|
opie: UR RULES SUCK
The other riders abandoned us to go ride their test and wait ringside to go in, so Opie had to march around by himself IN THE RAIN. Thinking about it, I'm not sure I've ever showed him in the rain before. Apparently this is a big no-no. He was stomping around blowing like a dragon, occasionally dropping his head between his knees, and he finally just couldn't take the injustice of it anymore and when I went to pick up the trot one last time right before we had to go in, he was like, "I AM LEAVING THIS RAIN NOW BAI."
|"i know there's a canopy at the trailer, i need to go be under it this second."|
|"SO RUDE DON'T TELL ME NO I'M MELTING"|
|this picture is everything.|
Fortunately the rain stopped right as our test started!
The test felt a little sleepy still, but watching the video he actually looks just fine. Despite stretchy breaks during every ride, and allotting one day a week every week to a stretch-only ride, our stretchy trot circle is still missing in our tests. Annoying, and an easy way to lose points. Going to have to do more work on this before the final two shows.
Everything else went perfectly fine. It was a pretty boring, mistake-free test. We were in front of Crazy Judge who worships the ground Opie walks on--his 9 medium walk and 8 free walk--so we scored way higher than we deserved. A long line of 7s and 8s, plus an absurd 9.5 for Gaits, earned us a 73% which won handily. Whatever, I'll take those inflated scores right to the awards banquet!
He got to go back and hang out at the trailer for about half an hour before getting tacked up again to finish. We got to warm up with one rider in front of us which is exactly the right amount of time he needs. My main goal for this show was to work on my timing for warm up--not getting on too soon--and heading into the ring from warm up with purpose instead of dribbling over there and napping outside the ring for five minutes. I accomplished both of those things, and I have a much better feel for what this horse needs to put in his best test.
I haven't ridden this test since June, and I was a little worried about remembering it. Somehow I managed to make it through without error.
Another kind of boring, steady test--not a bad thing when those stupid leg yields are involved. The first leg yield was definitely a cop out on the old using your bum thing, Opie, but it got done-ish. The second one was better, but they're still not something our young Dopie Horse is interested in.
In both First tests, coming out of the walk he wants to step right into the canter like you do in 2-3, so that knocked us down a point or two for both transitions. And then that fucking stupid change of lead at X. I swear he nails it every time at home, but it's the kiss of death in a show. I don't know why, but fuck you, stupid trot change.
She really liked our lengthened/medium canters for all three tests and the lowest we scored on those the whole day was a 7.5 in 2-3. We finished this test with a 68+% for another win. That would have gotten us champion for First, but they only award Champ/Res. Champ for the highest level you show at, so--spoiler alert!--being the only Second rider I got a Champion ribbon for that instead.
|warming up for 2-3|
We had two riders between us before we rode our final test. I walked through the first test, and then put him back to work for the second test. I touched on the SI and haunches-in a couple times both ways and he actually felt pretty good. He's at the point where he gets the idea of them, but the suppleness and confidence are definitely lacking. He tries though, and that's all that matters!
|thinking cap thoroughly engaged.|
This test felt better than the two we did at the last show. Obviously still super green, but for where my expectations are at at this point for this test, I'm super happy with it. The annoying turn on the haunches were again a write off in this test which--like the trot change at X--are something that are always there at home. Oh well, that's why I want to keep riding the test as much as I can.
Highlights include a 7.5 for the halt and rein back, an 8.5 for the first medium canter and a 9 for the transition (which was generous, but while riding it I knew it felt good). Mostly a bunch of 6s which I'm perfectly alright with right now. We ended up with a 62+%.
|i'll take your blue ribbons, please and thank you|
We left the barn at nine and Dopie was back out with his friends by three so a day well spent. I got my goals checked off, the horse felt good, I came home with a pile of satin, and I'm ready to close out the season on a strong note. But because I'm me, we're going to spend this week playing over jumpies before I go on vacation for a long weekend. Then the big show at the fair which we're going to work our balls off for because COOLERS AS PRIZES.