Oh gosh. I have so much to say about this show. I figure I will write about each phase and then do a wrap up post. But before all that, I need to thank everyone who pulled off this pandemic show. I have lots of video, pictures, etc to share with you all, and in the back of all of them are people with masks on. It was weird, and it was often uncomfortable. But it was worth it to have a safe and fun horse show.
SO TO DRESSAGE. One thing to note, there were 7 BN divisions at this show. So on Sunday, they were running 4 rings with 1 warm-up arena. Yeah… about as crazy as it gets. You had everything from kids on ponies at their first horse trials to trainers on very green horses attempting to navigate the chaos.
I gave May a nice long walk to get loose before even picking up the reins. Our warm up started out great, and I had a horse that was soft over her back and listening. We were supple over our back and into the bridle. Then… the ring got a little busier. We got crowded, cut off, and run into the rail. (Fun fact, when you ride an over-sized Thelwell, people do not respect your space). I could feel May getting frustrated with the whole situation.
Since we were about 2 horses out, I just decided to walk the rest of my time. I went over to my awesome groom for a quick touch up, and we took a quick Covid-approved pic. Then, I walked and watched. Maybe 10 minutes after I gave up leaving the warm up arena, May finally started to relax a bit.
We entered the ring and had a nice opportunity to travel around the arena and introduce ourselves to the judge. May felt SUPER good. The judge blew the whistle. I headed towards A. And a GIANT GREEN HEAD FLY landed on Mays’ cheek. I am not sure what I was thinking, but I halted, leaned forward, swatted it, and then sat back up, gathered my reins, and trotted down center line.
Bless my little yellow pony. She always knows when I am getting those bugs for her, and she went right to work with me. The test was good, if not a bit lack luster.While we improved our canter transitions (up and down), our walk work was pretty weak. She just wanted to look around at the activity and got tense when I tried to put her together.
Luckily, the free walk showed a good change, and while it wasn’t great, it did help set us up better for the medium walk after and subsequent trot transition. I took my time in the last downward transition, fixing the balance, and getting a good square halt. And then saluted like my behind was on fire because I knew May did not want to stand long
My thoughts on the test were mostly Meh. It was solid and accurate, but I felt like the little bit of tension really hurt May’s (already not so great) gaits. I pegged the score in the mid-30s and headed back to the stables. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had scored a 32.8! A few points better than our last recognized horse trial.
Of course, I also managed to forget to pick up my Dressage test… so I have no idea what the judge said. Huge bummer and rookie move, but when you are at a show from 5AM – 8:30PM, some things tend to slip through the cracks. Overall, SUPER happy with the test, and it put us in 4th place heading into SJ!