May 25, 2016

Show Recap: IDS May Schooling Show (1-1 and 1-2)

With a ride time of 11:41am, I thought I'd get on a few minutes after 11.  In the event Connor came out breathing fire like at Majestic, I would need time to chill him out.  My trainer explicitly told me not to encourage him to be up - he needed to relax.

Within a few minutes, I realized I had my old pony back, the one who gets just up enough at shows to give him some extra impulsion that makes him super easy to ride...and I was on way too early for that pony!  I kept him moving and thinking literally until they were yelling at me to get to the ring - which I trotted all the way over to, in order to not lose him:

Trotting over to the show ring

We went straight in for 1-1, he was ready.  And it felt so good!  Definitely way better than I expected to get my first time on my own.

Our scores went from a low of 5.0 when he broke into the canter for a step when I asked for the trot lengthening, to highs of 8 for the downward transition at X from the left lead canter to the trot "well balanced and fluid in transition," and an 8 for our final halt.

Her remarks were "What a willing, hard-working horse!  Good job!"  She gave us a 67%, good for first by 7 percentage points in a class of 5.

When we finished, we had about 90 minutes before our next test, and I knew impulsion would be a problem coming out of the stall for 1-2.  I was not surprised.

All pictures are from the first test.

This test was just flat.  I had what I had, and what I had wasn't much.  He was too quick, and lost that impulsion that makes my job easier.  We ended up with a totally respectable 64% and another first (of 3).  The judge actually commended me for not asking for more from him, saying "Willing partner with rider careful not to push him too much in later lengthenings yet - he needs more strength to cover more ground and come back (sit)."

Ribbons and scores aside, I was thrilled with this show.  We went there by ourselves, and got it done.  My position is, overall, much better in these pictures than in my last Dressage photos from a year ago.  Connor came in ready to work, and only screamed once the entire weekend, when another horse called at him as we were entering the warmup area.  Otherwise, it was like he said, "Oh the Hoosier Horse Park, time to get to work."  It could not have been more different from Majestic.

Look, the beginnings of a stretchy trot circle.
What needs more work?  Sitting and pushing muscles need more work - his lengthenings are mediocre at best.  I know these tests wouldn't have scored nearly as well at a rated show, and that's okay.  That's why you do an $87 (total!) schooling show first.  Also, we keep getting "needs more crossover" in the leg yields in 1-2, so that needs work too.  But we're headed in the right direction.

This horse and his constant need to rest a hind leg as soon as we halt, I swear.
What a good pony and a fun show!


  1. Congrats on a great show! You both look spectacular (although, I have to admit, I've never seen an ugly photo of Connor -- he's so handsome!)

  2. Wonderful scores!! You must be thrilled!

  3. Congrats! Those are awesome scores, and you both look great!

  4. Dang you rock! What a great schooling show

  5. Congratulations!! What a great result especially for a show on your own :)

  6. Great job Jen! Your position and Connor's looks wonderful! I can't wait to take Fergie to her first show.

  7. Congrats again! Sounds like you were well rewarded for doing your best :)

  8. wooo congrats on getting out there and getting it DONE, and all by yourself too!!