Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Show Horse

Yesterday, we discovered we have a show horse. Rhythm was fantastic for his first outing. My first ride wasn't until 3pm so he got go out in the field for a couple of hours in the morning before I brought him in to bathe and braid. We loaded up around 12pm to head to the fairgrounds. He hadn't been in a trailer for almost 2 years but he got in on the second try. He came off the trailer quietly and we took him and Mystic over to the warm up arena to check the place out. While we were in there they decided to drag the arena and let people move to one of the competition arenas for warm up. I was really thankful for the opportunity to walk him around in there so he could check out the dressage court and the judges table. He was a bit looky but not too bad. Since we had arrived early with plenty of time we had time to just relax and look around. Tarra rode at 2:30 so after walking around we headed back to the trailer for her to get ready. I braided Mystic's forelock while Stephanie unwrapped Rhythm.

Once Tarra was set, I began getting changed and we got Rhythm tack up. I spent a while walking on a long rein in our warm up. Rhythm took the crowded arena in stride. Several times we had to make a quick change of plans and he was great. Our first test was First level test 2. He was quite a bit more looky in the arena with me on him than when I was walking him around. I struggled to get him into the corners, especially near the judges stand. The arena was also quite a bit bigger than where we practice so I totally messed up some of our lines and one of our circles. Oops! This summer we are going to set up a full court arena on the grass at our barn. I think that will be really helpful. Some of the main things we need to work on are his shoulders not falling right, specifically in the halt, our canter transitions and the canter itself, and those darn leg yields! 

I had about an hour between my first and second test so I got off and let Rhythm relax. With 25 minutes to go I hopped back on. He was definitely tired and I felt like I had trouble keeping him going and together. This test was in arena we hadn't been in yet. It's open on 3 sides, with the 4th side being open in the middle. The wind was blowing so hard it was buzzing through the middle, and there was a lovely piece of green plastic blowing around during our test. We crossed paths with it 2 or 3 times. Rhythm was a start and largely ignored it. As we were coming out of the arena the rider who was coming in commented on what a good boy he had been to not be bothered by it. We had many similar comments in this test. We've got to nail those canter transitions and get him more balanced in the canter. We also need more downward stretch in both our free walk and stretchy trot circles. We got a 60% on both tests.

Tarra and Mystic did fantastic with high scores and winning both of their classes. Another boarder from our barn did well with her horse earlier in the day. Team NDF represented well!  
Overall I was super pleased with how good Rhythm was. Now we need to get back to work.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the good show. Looks like you guys had heaps of fun.


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