Monday, July 6, 2009

Horses Unlimited Fiesta de Dressage

Yes... I made it back from yet another show in yet another region. This one was in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I made it in to the show after a few glitches, so it's a good thing that MD knows the show manager. He called her with a scheduling conflict, and she asked about my ride times to see if I could tack a horse up for her. As it turns out, the show manager had forgotten to enter me in the show at all. He had stapled my entries to the back of MD's and just neglected to add RC to the show. But it was all fixed by the time I arrived.
Just getting six horses to a show is quite an ordeal. We brought two trailers; MD's had Lorraine's two horses and MD's two horses, while I trailered to Gail's then moved RC into her trailer. Her truck is newer, so it was voted that she got to bring the trailer. It worked out since RC really doesn't care where he's put, as long as there is food in front of him he's happy as a clam. (Jennifer, if you are reading this, Gail says hi)

The show was the Fiesta de Dressage, sponsored by Horses Unlimited. RC was entered in first level test one and first level test four, qualifying on Saturday and training level test four stakes and first level test four stakes on Sunday. The stakes classes were money back classes, so they put the open, AA and YRs all in one class for those. though, I think I only saw one Jr/YR at the whole show, maybe there were more then that, but they were sure in the minority. More then usual for a dressage show.
And now since you are my captive audience and have no say, I'll run through my test highlights.


First Level Test One: 58.333% (I was really disappointed with that)
We got a 7 for our freewalk, but the rest of the test was pretty dismal. Which sucks, because other then being a little stiff in the shoulders, RC was really pushing through his butt and back. It was so much better then any of his tests last year, but I guess Solyntjes did not agree... He nailed RC's lengthenings because I let his nose out. Even with quite an overstride (for a quarter horse), I only got 5's on them. Better luck next time.

Remarks: "Some Good moments when strides get free but then they get quick-you need to be able to keep better balance-try to ride more accurately + transition need more support from your lower leg Try not to [illegible]"

First Level Test Four, Q: 65.263% (my first first level qualifying score!)
We got 8's on our initial halt, final halt, and left lead canter depart. I'm pretty excited every time I get an 8, so three of them put me over the moon. We got 5's again in the lengthenings, with the comments "strides need to be longer". RC has little stumpy QH legs! It's not easy for us! Oh well, I guess we need to keep working on it.
Remarks: "Obedient horse but needs more suppleness throughout"


First Level Test Four: 64.737% (Came in 4th place, after three open riders, so I'm happy)
Again, RC scored 8's on his initial and final halts. He must look pretty solid when he stops, to keep getting 8's. This time from Solyntjes, I got a 7 and a 6 on my lengthenings. The only real difference was that I held RC a little more in (like a medium), so he didn't get to overstep so much but stayed more in the frame. Evidently that's the preferred look. Although check out that 7 for gaits!

Remarks: "Good Halt. try not to lean back in L trots- rein get too wide + horse could not bend. Do not head wag-horse loses rhythm in L canter due to problem with aid and submission"

Training Level Test Four: 66.800% (again, happy with this score)
This was my last test of the weekend, so I was pretty tired by then. RC was a little stiffer through his ribs, but it felt like a very smooth test with no serious bobbles. This time I had an 8 for my first halt and my stretchy trot and 9 for my final halt! I shit you not, check it out!

Remarks: Well ridden, obedient horse. Try to improve suppleness for longer strides"

So all in all it was a good show, though now I'm exhausted. So is Mr. Cster Pants. He's been laying down all morning while I was cleaning stalls/pens this morning. Poor little guy. It's not easy being a dressage horse.
All I had to do today was empty out the trailers, clean out the trailers, clean the pens and then work Deli. Deli was pretty pleased to be chosen again after three days off. She was a bucking mess on the lunge line. Some of them were pretty big bucks coming from such a little pony, but she was a good girl when I got on her. We only worked on the walk and trot, though she offered a few canter transitions. She's starting to understand the concept of contact and that just because I touch her reins, she does not get to slam on the breaks. I still love that pony, and I cant wait to start showing her. Everything is going to be so much easier for her naturally then RC, and look at some of the scores that RC is bringing home.

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