Originally, I had signed up for the local combined test because the weather had been pleasant, and it would be a great first outing before our recognized event in the beginning of April. As life happens, neither of those things were true by the time the show came about.
Full disclosure, at the show I took a lot of steps to distance myself that I normally wouldn’t take, and I do not plan on supporting any more shows until the pandemic is under control. The way things have changed over the last 24 hours is seriously concerning, and I urge you all to take extra precautions to limit your exposure to other people during this time.
Now back to the show. The day was SUPPOSED to be sunny and in the mid 50s. Instead, the day before the show, it rained ALL DAY (and into the early morning), and Sunday ended up being cold, muddy, and windy. This show is always super well run, and they did as good of a job as possible. However, the mud in warm up created a lot of problems for our warm-up. My usually sure footed horse was slipped. I could feel her frustration grow until we were just piddling around.
I kind of gave in and just leg her walk on a long rein in hopes that just doing that would help loosen up her body and get her to come through. It… didn’t really work. Then, I was like ok, the arena has sand footing. We will get something going around the outside of the arena before our test. (I scooted in as soon as the person running the ring would let me.)
But then… May saw something out in the XC field just beyond the judges booth and… I should have been more firm and been like “no, here” but I wasn’t. We have been playing around with bits, and it was only my second time riding her in this bit. She seemed happier in it, but I didn’t want to start a fight about it right before the test. Lots of fix.
As of the test… basically everything got a 6.0 or a 6.5 except for a few things: our last canter to trot transition got a 5.5 with the comment: “fell into trot and then nicely forward.” Our centerline got a 7.0 for “Forward and straight”, and our halt got a 7.0 with “obedient and almost square.” Basically the same story with the collectives, we got a 5.5 on submission (ugh). The comment was “willingly forward but could be more consistent in stretch into connection then scores will go up.” Fair…and it’s usually better. Oh well.
We ended up with a 39.3. I think that’s my highest dressage score in a long time, but we were only 4.7 points off the leader so… really in with most of the pack. I think everyone was suffering a bit from the footing and the drop in temperatures (it was in the mid 30s with the wind whipping during my test.)
The full video is below. Overall feelings? It was an obedient but meh test. I definitely need to see if we can set up a short court at home and practice doing movements at letters instead of me doing them when it “feels good.” The point of this show was to come home with homework, and we definitely have it.