I don't normally post on the weekends, but this is two week old news at this point and I have new things I want to post about. Plus only like four people read Dressage show recaps anyway (and I don't blame you!) At least I have loads of pretty pictures for you!
My first rated show, and the first thing I noticed is that horses, generally, are a LOT nicer than the ones at the schooling shows. Sure there are nice horses there too, but schooling shows are kind of like lower level eventing in that you get all types.
I didn't let it intimidate me though: since it was my first rated, I didn't allow myself any expectations. Sure we had scored well at the schooling shows, but those judges could have been really generous compared to rated judges, and I wasn't about to set myself up for disappointment. I wanted a 60% on 1-3 for rideoffs, and 60%'s for my bronze, and anything else would be a bonus.
|Warming up. Jackets were waived, but I wore one to avoid turning the show into a wet t-shirt contest if a spot shower hit during my ride.|
1-3 was first, and I was happy about that because I'd have a fresh horse and enough impulsion for the serpentines. Sure enough, it was our best 1-3 to date and he didn't even come close to breaking in the (very very very long) canter.
|Fun fact: That's Karen's friend (and my friend now too) Liz in the blue in the background.|
Our biggest mistake was mine: I sat the stretchy trot. In 1-2 it doesn't specify, but in 1-3 it does, and I got a -2 for sitting. Now, the funny part is, I have done that all season and this is the first time I've been called out on it! Guess I need to read the tests more closely!
|Liz is in the background going: "...why isn't she posting?!"|
Even with my -2, we ended up with a 62% and change, which gave us our qualifying score for IDS year end championships. Could it be higher? Absolutely, but it was our best 1-3 to date, so I was happy.
|Still scored 8's on our free walk, so those scores weren't flukes at least.|
A few hours later, we did 1-2, and it was ballin'. I barely warmed him up, because I got out there, felt that I had what I needed, and went straight in as soon as they let me. As usual, our trot lengthenings (especially that very first one) scored poorly, but the free walk, stretchy circle, halts/entrances and canter work are all good enough to pull the score up. Still, something we need to work on.
When I went to look for my 1-2 score, I started at the bottom of the list...going up...wondering where I am...and was shocked to find that my 67% not only put me in first for my AA division, but was actually the high scoring 1-2 ride of the day for pros and juniors as well. Blue ribbons don't mean everything, but for the first time, I thought, "Wow, we really can compete and we really are ready for rated."
Now imagine how well we'd score if we could improve our lengthenings...