Sunday we had test two for our team division. I hadn’t signed up for an open class as I thought Emi would have probably had enough by this point in the weekend. As expected, she came out nice and quiet for our warm up. Once in the show arena the tension returned full force. She started calling as soon as we got in there. Have you ever noticed that when your horse isn’t ready to start their test the judge rings the bell way too soon? That’s what happened for us. I was doing my best to settle her when the judge rang the bell….so off we went.
Emi wanted to look around so bad and was calling away. We were managing alright until we got back by the exit door. Just as we turned to start our free walk a horse came clopping in to the area outside the door. Emi wanted to turn around and look so bad! We blew both our free walk and medium walk (getting a 2.5 on both plus an error for her stopping during the free walk portion). I was so thankful to get back to the trot work since that gives me a little more to work with. Just as we started our second trot circle a train whistle echoed through the arena. At this point all I could do was smile since things were so not going according to plan. We made our final turn down centerline and executed a nice halt. That test was really not what I wanted to end on but sometimes it just “is what it is.”
Further remarks on this test: “Some tension this test really affecting the walk work. Rider did well with tactful riding.” The collective marks were all really low. 6 for gaits, 5 for impulsion, 5 for submission, 6 for rider position, 5.5 for effectiveness of the aids, and 6 for geometry and accuracy. This resulted in a final score of 53.438%. Ouch! I was a little disappointed that both halts only scored a 6.5 as both felt really good (and had scored well the previous day). I was also disappointed with the collective marks. One thing about dressage that I find frustrating at times is the wide variety in scoring (and this was all the same judge). I had scored a 7.5 and a 7 the previous day on my position and got a 6 for this test. Let’s be honest, it’s not as if my riding miraculously changed overnight! I understand that how my horse is going reflects on how I’m riding it but sometimes how your horse is going has less to do with how it’s being ridden and more with it’s emotional state. Does anyone else think that can be true?
At the end of the day I’m still thrilled with how well Emi’s doing. I’ve had more than one person comment that they are glad to hear she’s not always perfect. It was a great outing and she gained some valuable miles this weekend. I’m pleased that despite her level of anxiety I was still able to ride her and she didn’t have any major explosions. I feel like I rode her well and did a good job thinking while doing my test. There are definitely things that we need to keep working on and ways that I could be riding her better but we are getting there.
Since I have no plans to sell her I don't mind sharing what a lovely 53% at Intro looks like. Haha.
As it turned out, her high score and low score averaged out for Reserve Champion in her division. Our team was also Champion of our team division. Emi got her first Reserve Champion ribbon, a whip and I got a medal. It was a nice way to end the weekend.
|My barn mates and I|
Now we have about another month before our next league show, where we will be doing Intro C for the first time. I guess I better keep practicing those canter transitions.