Tuesday, October 6, 2015

On Learning & Winning

This weekend I attended a local league dressage show called the Adult Team Show. As the name implies, the show is for people 21 and over and riders are on teams. Not only do riders compete on teams but they also place individually. I don't know about you but double the chance of prizes? I'm in! Teams consist of 4 people and ours was a group from our barn. 

When they first published the prize list came out they were offering open classes (as time allowed) along with the other divisions. I know Benny tends to be better his second time in the show ring so I opted to do an open class both days. As it turned out the show was so full that they didn't have time for the open rides. They ended up shuffling things around so that open rides were offered on Friday with a few more first thing Saturday morning. I wasn't able to go up on Friday and then hemmed and hawed about going up early on Saturday morning. For the sake of schooling I chose to keep my open ride for Saturday morning, and I'm sure glad I did. 

Benny travels pretty well and always comes off the trailer calmly. Saturday was no exception. I got on him with about 30 minutes until my 8:20am ride and he warmed up fairly well. All that changed when we got in to the competition arena. We headed down center line, halted at X and Benny said "no thank you" to continuing down to the judges table. It took me literally a minute to get him going again...and when I did get him moving it was because I turned him back away from the judges table and continued on with our test. How well can your dressage test go when your horse is gawking and won't use 1/3 of the arena? At the end of my test I was able to walk him up to the judges table and he sighed while the judge and scribe assured him that there were not any monsters hiding back there. 


I met Tarra as I came out of the arena and she told me that it was $30 well spent to come up for the class. I totally agreed. Since I was the last rider in the open class and there was a break before the start of the rest of the show I was able to go right back in to the competition arena to school. After 5 or 10 minutes Benny was being just fine about that end of the arena. I was pretty certain that was the worst test of my entire life and wondered how in the world the judge could really even score it. I was pleasantly surprised when we ended up with a 55%. Amidst 2's, 4's, 5's and 6's we received 7's for both coefficients (the stretchy trot and free walk). 


 Although I knew Benny may be spooky for the first test I was not expecting him to look that hard. In his defense I do think it's a hard arena for horses and with the way the court was set up I didn't get him down near the judges booth before our ride started. It was a great reminder that if I show Emi next year I really need to make a point of going to shows early enough that she can scope out the arena. It's easy to take these calm, well adjusted horse for granted. Stay tuned for the winning that comes tomorrow!

 On another note, I've had Benny for a year today!

1 week after I got him
September 13th, 2015

17 comments:

  1. Wow! HUGE difference in muscling! You've done really well with him. Sounds like the show was a beneficial experience too, good decision.

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    1. Thank you! I'm really pleased with him.

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  2. I agree with Jen; you've TRANSFORMED him! I love the saying superimposed over the photo; thrilled to bits for your success. And I LOVE your new header photo. Someday I'll have to change mine from Russell to Lance....

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. It's fun to do well! :)

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  3. Happy "gotcha" day, Benny!

    And altho the show didn't go as well as planned, you learned something. :) Horses keep us humble, right?

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    1. The class didn't go as planned...but the whole show actually went quite well. More details tomorrow. :)

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  4. poor Benny - those judges don't *actually* eat horses!!! seriously tho - happy 1 yr with him, he looks great1

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  5. Can't believe how different Benny looks!!! Love your "win or learn" attitude too :)

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    1. Yeah...I saw that recently and thought it really did apply to horses. Just because you don't win doesn't mean you "lost."

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  6. What, it has been a year already? Wow! You have done a great job with him. He looks fantastic! And those learning experiences are always special.

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  7. I'd love to use your meme. What a great statement! And our horse anniversaries are very close. Congrats!

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    1. Feel free to use the meme. I saw the saying elsewhere and applied it to my own photo. :)

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  8. Benny is looking awesome!! He's gained so much muscle

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    1. Thanks! I'm really happy with how he is doing.

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  9. Happy anniversary!! He looks amazing! Congrats on the wins.. off to read the next post!

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