Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Schooling Show

We went to a dressage schooling show on Sunday and my goodness, did it go well!

We arrived at the show at about 8; my ride time was 9. Perfect. After unloading the horses, taking off their boots, and setting them up with hay bags, we groomed and started tacking up. Pandora was not that fantastically clean, unfortunately -- the whole evening before had been spent washing McKinna to get her white!

Anyway, other than all that dust lurking under her pretty brown coat, Pandora looked fine. "I'm going to head over to the warm up arena to see how she does away from McKinna," I told my parents, and led her away. I mounted up just as the sole other occupant of the warm up arena was leaving. Wonderful, I thought. Not only did I take her away from her buddy, she's going to be all alone in this arena.

Well call me a pessimist, because that dang mare waltzed around the warm up arena like she didn't have a care in the world! After a few relaxed walk laps, we picked up a trot to do some bending and serpentines. No problem. No head-tucking-behind-the-bit, which I just figured out a few days ago (post on that coming soon). She was good as gold.

I was the very first rider and our test was Intro A. So we enter, trot down a fairly squiggly center line, and come to a halt with her leaning on the reins. Lovely.

We walk forward. Well this isn't too bad, I think as we turn neatly past the judge's stand, with nary a twitch from Pandora. We pick up a trot and circle in the center. My geometry isn't that fantastic (I haven't taken it in four years, give me a break!). Her free walk, while lacking in the forward department, certainly involved plenty of stretching down to the ground. Repeat the whole sequence going the other direction, another vaguely straight center line, halt salute.

What a lovely mare. She was totally relaxed and in sync with me the whole time. Definitely lacked some forward -- it was not a brilliant test by any stretch of the imagination! But she was relaxed and steady through the whole ride, something that is very important to me.

Well by the end of the day it turned out that we'd won Intro A and received high point for the Intro level ;) Our score was a 62.5%. Not spectacular but hey, I've been riding the horse for a week and a half!
Cheesy smile, blue ribbon, bored-looking horse? Check.

Mom also rode two nice tests on McKinna. Their communication is getting better and better. In my mother's words: "I'm so used to working on things that when I'm riding a test and it's going well, I'm going 'Oh! Everything's going right! What do I do??'" Don't worry Mom, eventually you will get used to it!

All in all the show was wonderfully successful. Extremely relaxed and low-key, just the way we like it. Time to get working on canter work with both horses so I can start doing some Training level tests (walk-trot-canter instead of simply walk-trot).

I can't wait to tell you about how I figured Pandora out! Our communication has improved a LOT. But that's a story for tomorrow.


Leah Fry said...

You're allowed a cheesy smile when you're holding a blue ribbon! Glad all went well.

Brought my horses home tonight after they've been at Heather's for 5 weeks. I'm going to have to watch them closely because they haven't had their heads up since we landed!

Stacey said...

Congrats!!!! MORE PICS!

Crazy Easton Family said...

Way to go Pandora! What a pleasant surprise that she was so easy going for the newness of everything in the show :)
And way to go C!

SquirrelGurl said...


Looks like things are really going great with you guys!!!

smottical said...

What a great feeling it must have been to be so happy with your horse, and then find out on top of it that you'd won! Congratulations!

mugwump said...

Woohoo. Blue is my favorite color!

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