Monday, October 18, 2010

We Just Never Know Where Life Is Going To Take Us

Little did I know when I bought a trail horse, Bonnie, six years ago that I'd end up here...

Day after my first Dressage show and NO PICTURES OF ME!  No one took pictures with my camera, however there will be pictures AND video ~ eventually... I hope.  When I get them, ya'll will see them!

So I will describe my day as best I can...
Lack of sleep - nerves
Back hurting bad - took drugs that made nerves not care so much but didn't do much for the back

Got to Farm in time to watch Jodie finish a 70% Level 1 test on a 3 yr old she's training.  She got 1st.

Helped her get Karat ready for her 2nd level 1 and 2 tests.  I called her tests to her at warm up.

Watched Jodie ride a 60 % for 3rd place on 2nd level 1  and 68% for 1st place on 2nd level 2.   1st test she didn't hear her trainer call a 10 meter circle in the pattern she missed it.  Then she did something else incorrect, don't remember what though.

Then it was my turn to pull up my Big Girl Breeches and do something I've never done before ~ Compete in a Dressage Show.   A completely different riding discipline that I've struggled to learn.  But here goes nothing right??

Warm up I worked on those stupid Posting Diagonals, and getting a decent 20 meter circle.  I like to travel the rail for too many steps.

Intro A: Horses should be ridden in light but steady contact, with the exception of the free walk in which the horse is allowed complete freedom to lower and stretch out the head and neck.

One thing about Karaat as my video's show from my lesson back in September show he is NOT an easy horse to get into contact, let alone round.  I do both now easily!

My only "error" in Intro A was caused sheerly by a case of the nerves.  From "halt and salute" I did a working Trot to C, it was supposed to be a Medium walk.  GAH!  O'well only -2 for that, and the ONLY error I had.

The judges comments were of this nature:
"needs to be rounder and bent to the right"  and "Needs more impulsion, needs to be rounder".

Now believe me, in no way shape or form was Karaat anywhere near "not in contact"  he was round, into light contact.  I could have bent him but neither Jodie or I thought it was necessary to ride him at Level 1 in Intro classes.  Never at any point was his nose forward of vertical, nor was he strung out on the forehand...

Any rate, I scored all 7's and 6's on each part with an overall of 60%.

Remarks about me "Steady Ride!  You need more impulsion into contact and your horse will be more rounder (is that a word?) and have more bend in the circles and corners"

My remarks -> I was having issues keeping him forward but not horrible.  I wasn't exactly straight on center line.  I ALWAYS had correct Posting Diagonal.  My free walk was a bit "messy" he wasn't moving forward at all, I was hesitant to show him my crop because he IS a level 4 horse.  Walk to Canter transition is immediate for him.

Still the 2nd best ride I've ever had.. EVER !

My daughter and a photographer friend of hers shows up, and so do some very close family friends.  I'm so glad to see people I know to share this with!

Intro B - a bit more difficult.  More trotting, trotting diagonals, as well as a free walk on "two diagonals M-X-F" ( for my not so Dressage folks it's a wide V from left top corner "M" to middle "X" to bottom left corner "F")  This ride I felt was better and was grinning ear to ear as I rode it.

Again I was faulted on not enough contact *eye roll* again supposed to be light but steady contact.  Also apparently he was not "round enough" nor was he "Bent enough"

On one of the free walk between M-X-F he was stretched down really good, but I wasn't getting any response from a "test" leg squeeze as I approached F and was moving him into a "Medium Walk" (just a walk on contact).  I needed more forward so Karaat would come up into contact and not show his nose in the air and get all strung out.  So I  moved my outside leg back just behind the girth and gave him a squeeze and snapped my crop against my leg.  Well my Level 4 horse went into Canter.. because well I did ask for it LOL !  It was only 1 step though, and Judge called it a "Jig" *giggle*  After that though I had a forward horse.

Remarks about me -> "Steady Ride! Rider needs to push horse more forward into contact...  " ok so I get the point.. rounder, more implosion...

My Remarks -> DAMNED POSTING DIAGONAL !  Could have been straighter on center line.  Great Ride.. Best.. absolute BEST I've done to date...  Judges be damned!

I got all 7's and 6's with no errors - final score 58%

I was/am still emotional. This was a bucket list item for me.

So What's Next??

Well... Intro A and B with ROSIE of course!


  1. Looking forward to seeing pix and video!

  2. Congrats on your accomplishment(s) Jeni!!

  3. I give you great big kudos for doing this.

  4. Wahooo! You did it! I don't think you were doing this to win anything anyway, right? Just to prove to yourself you could do it and to practice competing, right? And you did that wonderfully. You have a right to be proud and it truly doesn't matter the judges opinions. They can be very subjective anyway.

    Speaking of judges, that's what I'll be doing at both ACTHA Halloween Rides at the end of the month. Now you've got me nervous that everyone will hate me for giving them their scores. eek!



  5. Leah - me too !

    Fern - wooo baby yah!!! It felt great to do that show ~ on THAT horse !

    Aurora and Lori - Thank you so much !

    Lisa ~ You are absolutely correct! This was a "You can do this ~ Look at you go girl ~ You DID THIS ~ and well!" experience. It was a HUGE confidence boost that's for sure.

    You'll do fine judging and no one can hate you. You are so sweet!

  6. Congratulations! I think you did a great job and should be proud of yourself. It's not easy trying new things, I hope you enjoyed yourself, that's the most important thing.

  7. YEAH! Good for you!!! That's a great first show. I'm surprised the judge is looking for a lot of roundness in Intro level. The requirement is for accepting the bit not on it. Anyway, all judges are different and I always appreciate their feedback. That is a great accomplishment and I'll be looking forward to you showing Rosie. She'll rock!


Happy Trails!