Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Breaking into the Real Dressage

Ok, now for my second post to update you all of really the only other major occurrence in my equestrian life.

I got talked into signing up for a schooling show. No big deal, amiright? I mean, it's just a schooling show; it's cheap, close and you've got to practice taking Tillner out and about.
Except that I was informed by a friend who wanted company about it only a few days before. And Tilly suffered a realitively serious pasture accident. And Bucky and I ARE NOT READY to be seen in public together. Like, we're still working on turning and finding the passage off switch. Seriously Bucky, every little bobble on my part does not mean passage like a fool. FEI horses... sheesh.

So that leaves Delight, aka The Blackfish.
She and I have hit a tad of a stall... where I ask her to actually use her beautiful athletic self while moving into the contact while she ever so politely tells me where I can shove it. A woman and her pony, it's a beautiful thing really.
But I sucked it up and signed up at 1-3 and 2-1. Second level debut, what what!
So I woke up at the ass crack of dawn (actually well before that), got into my white clothes and off I went with BF/photog and my mother intow. Horses were fed and we were loaded and on the road by 6:30 for 8:45 and 9:10 ride times.
We were the first ones on the show grounds. It was 70 degrees with 90% humidity and a promise of thunderstorms that afternoon. So, the early ride times were no problem with me, at least it wasn't raining. Yet.
Not a counter canter to be seen
 My warm up was typical Delight. Not a counter canter to been seen as she attempted to intimidate old ladies on training level horses with her excessive flying changes. Great start for our second level debut, those counter canters aren't really required, right?
Maybe the judge will give us extra credit?
Sit the trot. Sit the trot!
 We started off the day as the first ride of the show. As it was a small show, and no one else had done it, I took Delight around the arena for the first time prior to her test. No investigating that scary liver pool in the corner beforehand... Fortunately for me, Deli is fearless. Or at least shows no fear, lest the other horses perceive weakness in her despite the Attila the Hun hairstyle.
In good news, her Mohawk is only about two weeks away from finally laying down. Silly pony hair.
Fearless Pony
 After an awful medium trot, we settled into the test. And guess what? It wasn't that bad.  Sure, we scored a dismal 63%, but I sat on her and she didn't turn her back into a clenched fist, so that's a win, right? Oh, and we didn't pop a single unasked for flying change. Score!
Unfortunately, I dare say that there is more work to be done before we debut in a real show again. There were minor issues like suppleness and bend. Oh and not letting her flip me the bird during half halts....
Suppleness issues
 Of course the first level ride was after the second level ride, so that was pretty much pressure free for me (love that no pressure show feeling!). I mean, we survived the more difficult test, what could possibly go wrong?
Look at that tense pony back
 Nothing. Nothing went wrong. I so love it when tests go right.
"Could have more oomph"
 Sure, we weren't perfect. In one single-loop-at-the-canter, our haunches were slightly in and her first canter depart was laxidasical.

7 for lengthening? I'll take it
 But we must have done something right. We earned a 74%.
Thank god I survived.
Get me out of this coat.

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