Nah, it wasn't that bad at all. A bit sloppier than I was hoping for, but such is life when you can't be bothered to measure out a dressage court at home--something I'll probably do this week in between
|i have absolutely no media so enjoy this tack cleaning snoot|
I gave Opie a ten minute spin on Saturday because it was horribly hot and disgusting. He was fine, he felt as good as he was going to get. Sunday was much cooler with clouds and a breeze, and he came off the trailer kind of a tweaker. I let him have a good hand walk all around to snoot things, and by the time I got on he was completely settled. Only he was a little too settled, and I ended up never getting him jazzed back up enough to where he felt inspired to put forth any effort whatsoever. That warm up happy medium is going to take some trial and error.
We got to go right into the court to make a couple laps for warm up as the ring wasn't large enough to fit a standard court and still have room to make a lap around. I shoulda woulda coulda used this opportunity to run through some movements and make sure I was comfortable with my geometry, but instead I tried to get Opie to wake up. He did not.
He headed down center line simultaneously tight but lazy, and reeled off a long line of 6s with 5.5s for the travers for not enough angle--I actually almost forgot to put him into it coming off my first 10m circle so well done me. That's rider error, and I can easily ask for and get more angle in those so an easy enough fix there for the future.
The halt, rein back, and turn on the haunches were all 6.5s. I know that fucking halt can score way better, but someone halted and then immediately periscoped to gawp at the horse in the round pen just behind the ring. The rein back itself was fluid and obedient though, and the comment was, "halt distracted, rein back submissive."
8s for the walk because obvi, and then 6 and 6.5s for the canter with 5.5s for the simple changes were that one trot step wasn't eradicated. A 4 for the final serpentine where he broke when the horse started banging on the round pen which was way more exciting to pay attention to than me, and then a 7 for the final halt.
|the bad horse halter came out for the morning.|
So! Lots of varying scores, but I'm pleased with her scoring and her comments. One thing I didn't want was fluffed up schooling show scores that gave me no real idea of how this test would score later this month in front of a real judge. While she might have thrown me an extra half point here and there (she gave us 6s for our perfectly acceptable lengthenings/non-existent mediums which was generous), she wasn't like, "You tried, here's a 7!" The final score for the first run through was a 62+% My only goal for the rated show is to eek out one single, solitary 60%. Clean up the mistakes, bring in a more focused horse, and I think that should be attainable.
We had about ten minutes to talk over the test and troubleshoot any problems. The judge is the head dressage coach at Cazenovia College. She was super fun and positive to ride with, but more than anything she was obsessed with Opie. I told her right off the bat that he was young, neon green to the level, and that his main problem was tension in the ring because I have a very different, softer horse at home. I know the medium trot is nonexistent and am not worried about it right now. What I hoped to get out of this was any tips on how to get him to relax a bit more over his topline.
She put me on a 20m circle at the posting trot and had me flex him back and forth a bit, leg yield out couple steps, and bring him back and forth a bit. The end.
He got softer-ish I guess, but he wasn't any different than the horse I have in warm up. Really most of the quick session was nonstop gushing over Opie. He's got a great hind end, he's got the gaits, oh my lort that walk, he can do the movements, he's so lovely, he's so nice, he's going to be super, etc etc. I ain't mad to hear that, y'all, but I guess I just thought I'd get a little more out of it.
|she clearly wasn't sassed with any of this side eye|
I understand that it was a super short time period, but I was hoping to at least work in the sitting trot. She told me overall she wanted to see him more round and less braced. We wrapped up there and went in to do it all over again.
This test actually went worse than the first one. He felt more tight and those 6s became 5.5s. The canter was a hot mess of him anticipating, and while he held the counter canter for the serpentines, he broke coming off the first medium canter, and then screeched to a halt in the second simple change before launching into the canter--at which point I halted him myself and made him stand for a second before walking a few steps and picking it back up calmly. I definitely used this test more of a schooling ride where a couple times I could have pushed him through and carried on, instead I made a very obvious correction. These scores count for nothing, so might as well use my time the way I need to.
We ended with a 60%--so I guess still what I was looking for even with the drama. Her final comment was that he "needs more suppleness over topline to fulfill the demands of this level." YEAH I KNOW.
|that topline is plenty supple when begging for candies.|
for real tho, he's looking awfully beastly lately.
Overall, it was worth the $50 just to get to ride the test twice in front of a judge in a really nice ring. I didn't get any bad or confusing feedback, and the comments and scoring were plenty to work with. Plus Opie was back home and out with his buddy before noon which doesn't leave a lot to complain about!
Now I just have to decide whether or not I want to do this fucking show Saturday. My ride times are next level dreadful and the weather is looking like it wants to be shit. Plus some idiot signed up for all three First tests. Don't do benadryl and fill out entry forms, kids.