September 4, 2016

Show Recap: Indy Dressage Classic II

Sunday was...interesting.  This was our first two day Dressage show, and we had 1-2 at 1:10pm and 1-3 last of the weekend at 2:30pm.

No filter.  I joke that you can see your reflection in his coat when Mary is around,'s not a joke.
I'm beginning to develop a feel for what he needs in a warmup, and at least at First Level, it's not much.  This is the easiest horse in the world to show (*at the HHP, at first level).   Lately, he has come out like a professional and needed very little from me.  I start out with a lot of suppling at the walk, make sure the engine is engaged with a lot of transitions and lateral work, and we're pretty much there.

Also, he needs not just going around the outside of the ring while we're waiting on the judge.

When I came out on Sunday, that was especially true.  I got on about 20 minutes before my ride time, and after 10 minutes of warmup, he was so ready.

There was some confusion with the warmup steward, and they said they couldn't find the girl ahead of me so I could go early if I wanted.  He felt so good, I was relieved, and I agreed to go early.  So I went over, but then the ring steward said the girl ahead of me finally showed up and I should go back to warmup.  But back at warmup, they said the girl ahead of me didn't want to go now since she was late, and wanted to go out of order.  So back to the ring I went!

The judge is smiling at us in the background.

All that said, that 1-2 ride is the first time I walked into the Dressage ring and just owned it from warmup to the final salute.  I don't know if it was the confidence of winning it the day before, or if we are just that comfortable with the requirements of 1-2, but I managed the test start to finish, thinking ahead, executing my ride plan.  I walked out knowing it was an even better test than 1-2 the day before, although it did not score as well.  I didn't care.  It felt good to feel competent.

I have a horse that likes the stretchy trot.  I do not take this for granted.  Thanks, Connor!

1-3 though...1-3 was a shit show.
At least his braids looked good...?

He was tired, I was tired.  It was our first time doing four tests in a weekend: I knew it wasn't going to go well, and in hindsight, I really really really should have scratched.  Instead, I borrowed a pair of spurs from Mary (who hasn't ridden all summer but somehow still travels with spurs?) and marched into the ring.

We did win the foamy lips award, at least.  You can see his white lipstick from all the way across the arena, where this picture was taken.

Everything was fine until the first canter shallow loop, when I tapped him with my whip, thinking the spurs would surprise him since I haven't ridden with them in so long.
"I am so tired, why are we doing this AGAIN?"

In retrospect, the spurs would have been the better option.  He kicked out at the whip and landed crossfiring, then broke, then picked the wrong lead back up.
Yeah, not the lead we're supposed to be on there.  Luckily I have since figured out what's going on with our shallow loops and fixed it, so hopefully even when he's tired, this will never happen again.

And that was our strong direction!
Trying to be a good boy, but so tired.

The other direction was more tactfully ridden, but I was out of horse.  He broke twice.  As I walked out of the ring, one of the IDS ladies asked, "Tired pony or tired rider?"  Not one to blame my spectacular failures on my horse, (and it truly was both of our faults), I said, "Both.  "First time doing four tests in a weekend!"

We ended up with a 55% for 5th, and on that note, we packed up and headed home!


  1. 4 tests is A LOT!! But you guys look great! Can we hire your friend to groom for us at all the shows?! lol!

  2. I totally get the tired rider and pony thing! Nice work getting it done anyway, sounds like the first test went super well :)

  3. Yes! We want to know all her elbow grease secrets :D

  4. Well I'm sorry test number 4 was rough but way to own your third test!!! What an awesome feeling.

  5. What a handsome shiney guy. Great that you felt so great about the first test & pity and the second but lessons learned and on the plus side he was a very good boy even though he was so tired.
    When my girls get tired they throw their toys out of the pram and there is no coaxing or talking to them #misfits

  6. Connor looks AMAZING. Doing so many tests in such a short amount of time is tough, but now you'll know for next time!

  7. What a great weekend - even with the last test being out of gas! You two are such a joy to watch and wish I could have been there to see your first rated show.

  8. Hey, these are things that are so specific to each horse. It's bummer you figured it out at a rated show, but now you have a new set of data points to improve with. :-) Go get 'em.

  9. Four tests never seems like that many until you have to ride four tests! He looks so good though!!