Monday, November 9, 2015

League Finals Recap

Friday afternoon Benny and I headed up to Devonwood for the League Finals show. KB was at the show and was able to help me school him in the show arena on Friday evening. We ran through both of my tests, discussed them and then worked through a few of the problem areas.


Saturday morning I didn't ride until 10:45 and 11:15. I had plenty of time to take Benny on a long walk/hand graze, braid him and get ready myself. I got on right on schedule and had a solid warm up before going in for my first test (Training 3, open class). Our test was unremarkable and we scored a 63.409% for 2nd place. He was a bit sticky during our first test so when I returned to the warm up I worked on sharpening his response to my "go" aids. He was responding very nicely and we headed back in to the ring for our second test of the day. Since it was part of my training level championship division I was unable to carry my whip. He was nicely forward as I warmed up around the arena but as soon as we trotted down centerline he slowed. I kicked him around the whole test, desperate to keep him going nicely forward. We finished the test with no major problems and scored 64.8%. This put us in fourth out of a competitive class of ten. The people ahead of me were all lovely riders who regularly compete at bigger shows so I was quite pleased that we were hanging right in there.



Saturday night I asked KB what she would think of me riding Benny with spurs for my championship class on Sunday. She thought it may be helpful and asked if I ride him in spurs at home. I don't but told her I was certain he had been ridden with them in his former life. Sunday I warmed him up with them on and really focused our getting a prompt response to my leg. While waiting to head in to the ring I told a friend that I was taking a bit of a gamble. I knew I might respond in a cranky way to the spurs but that with out them I might end up having to kick him around the whole test again.



My gamble paid off as he was nicely forward with out me having to stay on his case. Since I had so much more horse I was able to really ride my test, with out focusing solely on keeping him going. I came out of the ring feeling so good about how I rode the test. It was definitely my best "test riding" yet. KB predicted that our score would be quite a bit higher than day 1. Sure enough, we got a 68.182%. This put us in second place in our class for the day which I was thrilled with.




We ended up staying in fourth place for our division when our scores were averaged. I'd say we have come a long way in a year and I'm so proud of Benny the wonder horse!



18 comments:

  1. NOW I know who KB is! Hi, Kimberly!

    I have read that one of Charlotte Dujardin's big points is to ride without a whip (and, I think, spurs) for the very reason you experienced. She's big on training a horse to go forward without those aids, which would be a challenge for me with Lance!

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    1. I read that too. This is something I've been working on with Benny at home, but it appears we have more work to do!

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  2. He looks wonderful in those pictures! What a good boy. I'm glad he was a professional for you, even if he was a "lazy" professional for some of it!

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  3. aw yay Benny!! congrats again - this horse has really turned into a lovely and consistent ride !

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  4. You guys have done so much together! Those are some scores to be proud of.

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    1. Thank you! It's nice to be getting consistent high scores.

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  5. Congrats on a great show! I'm a big Benny fan.

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  6. Yayyy!!! You rocked it, girl! What a beautiful white ribbon. Looks great with the polos. :)

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  7. Yayyy!!! You rocked it, girl! What a beautiful white ribbon. Looks great with the polos. :)

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  8. Yay! That is so awesome. Congrats!

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