The morning of our show started hot and muggy, but it didn’t matter. We had a horse trial to go to! After our great schoolings lately, I was pretty excited to get out there and have a good day with my little mare. Due to new rules at the horse show, we had to park at the very entrance to the property (a solid 10 minute walk to the rings), but we were able to park in the shade and a nice long walk is not the worst way to help warm a horse up for a show.
The Novice riders were up first, so after grabbing my packet, I headed up to walk XC. (more on that later though). By 8:30AM, I was DRIPPING sweat, and I had almost 3 hours until my ride time. UGH. I watched the Novice riders do their Dressage tests and then I walked the Show Jump course before heading back to the trailers.
For May’s part, she is so easy to show. I pulled her off the trailer and all the trailer ties were taken. So I just walked her over to my car and trunk and flipped the lead over May’s back. She cocked a hoof and went to sleep, while I unwrapped, groomed, and slowly started tacking up. I opted out of wearing a jacket because… it really was that hot.
Lack of rain also meant the ground was really hard, and on top of a 10 minute walk on gravel, the dressage warm up was in a field. Then, we learned that we would be in the indoor… also not the best footing in the world. Oh well, we would just deal with it. The SJ arena felt great, so at least, we wouldn’t be show jumping on hard ground.
Our warm up was ok. Then I asked for a bit more, and May just SUCKED behind my leg. Luckily, I was carrying a whip. She got a tap with it… got super offended… and then was better. Of course, the warm up area was a bit of ways away from the indoor, and the indoor did not have a radio to the warm up area. The warm up volunteer sent us down… but I got there to see that the person in front of us still hadn’t gone. So we had a solid 5 minutes to hang around.
Once it was our turn, I headed into the indoor. Now… I don’t love showing in indoors. Horses like to suck back a bit. But this indoor is JUST BARELY the width of a dressage court, so you basically have to ride a foot or 2 inside the standard track so that you are not rubbing against the walls. On top of that, one side of the arena is attached to some stalls. The horses in the arena can only see the horses in the stalls if they lift their heads up… Not idea. Annnnd finally, the barn aisle opens up to the dressage course right in the middle of the long side. So horses are known to get right to B and spook.
But I got in there anyway and started warming May up. I got her in a really good and supple place. Went back to the walk… and the judge spoke to someone else for 5 minutes… Soooo when I came down centerline, most of that nice supple connection was lost again.
For the most part, the test was good. The first half scored mostly 6.5s and the second half scored mostly 7.0s. We got one 8.0, on our final halt, and our free walk got a 7.0. Overall, we scored a 33.3. Basically all the comments were regarding her being inconsistent in the connection, which I totally agree with. It’s something we need to work on.
Of course, we then had to run back to the trailer and do a quick change for SJ and XC!