April 13, 2021


Just entered my first rated show in two years.


If we can do our tests in a rhombus-shaped half-assed 20x60 with no fence and grass up to Connor's knees and undulating terrain, doing it on manicured sand should be easy, right?

It's a 3 day show at the HHP 20 minutes from my house, and GP trainer is coming, which will make it the first time EVER I've had a coach to warm me up at a rated show, and the first time ever she'll be the one coaching me.

There are a lot of unknowns with this show, which is in mid-May. 

Will I have my amateur status back by then? 

I'm currently in the process of getting that done and damn that is an involved process. I had to write a letter explaining my whole situation and how it's changed, get that notarized, and ship that off with a $50 check. Additionally, I had to get two active senior USEF members to write letters stating the same on my behalf, and they both had to get that notarized, and THEN when the USEF receives all of that, there's a hearing to determine if I can be an amateur again. Good times.

Rainbow after the storm on Saturday

Will Connor be able to do two tests in one day? 

I haven't done two tests in one day since 2017, and the 4th test of that weekend is the only time we scored below 60 at a rated show. But GP trainer pointed out a lot has changed for both of us since then. So on this coming Saturday at the annual kick-off-the-season schooling show, I'm entered for two tests (2-1 and 2-3). If that goes well, I'll ride two tests a day at the rated show in May, but if it doesn't, I'll cherry pick what I want to ride based on times and how he feels.

Updated conformation photos because I'm about to have a second go-around with Eq Saddle Science because I JUST CAN'T QUIT THEM OKAY. More on this later.


Are we ready for 2-3?

I entered 2-3 over 2-2 for a number of reasons. It's a qualifying test and if I'm becoming an amateur again, well, let's try to qualify for stuff. 2-2 is a less friendly test mentally to both of us - it's less symmetrical to memorize, and it offers a lot of places for Connor to check out mentally in the canter work. Plus, the canter work in 2-3 is actually easier than 2-2 for him - his counter canter work is suddenly amazing, and simple changes on the short diagonal are better for us than trying to manage both the serpentine shape and the mid-serpentine changes in 2-2. That said, we're not going to score 70% on it, and I don't know how GP trainer will feel about that. It's a whole new ball game actually having a coach for rated shows (reminder that my previous trainer was an eventing trainer, and with few exceptions, typically didn't attend straight Dressage shows to warm me up).

This canter, for like five whole minutes, twice a day. Doable, right?


Are they going to allow spectators by then?

USEF hasn't updated it's COVID show rules since what, last May? We know a LOT more about the virus by now, including that outdoor transmission is extremely unlikely as the viral particulates dissipate into the air. I sure hope they update the rules by then to allow spectators, since this is a "home show" for me, but who knows.

It looks like he's wearing a Cardinals hat backwards in this photo and that makes me laugh. We're slowly filling in that right side!


A few things I do know:

- It's a 3 day show, but I'm only entering for Saturday/Sunday because it's Nick's birthday on Friday.

- I'm going to be riding in my brown jump saddle and black bridle. All those fears I used to have in 2017 about not looking legit enough for a rated Dressage show...lol.

- I'm excited to be a part of a show team again, with banners, and teammates that will be staying the night at my house (we'll be fully vaccinated with full antibodies by then!), and we're hosting dinner for them one night that weekend.

- EquestrianEntries.com felt like a foreign land to me after 2 years away from it. Someone please go be their UX designer and copy editor, there are a lot of easy wins to make that more user friendly.

Here goes nothing!


  1. Omg EQ Entries is enough to make me wanna never show again. Lol. Wishing you all the luck!

  2. This is so exciting!!! Can't wait to read all about both shows!

  3. Very exciting! Can't wait to read all about it after the fact :)

  4. So exciting! Looking forward to reading about your success :)

  5. I picked up a Passier Young Star so I won't feel like an imposter for my first dressage season. I am 2017-you wishing I wish I was 2021-you with a GP trainer to warm up! Have fun!

  6. Omg EQ entries makes me cry every time I have to use it. So exciting about the shows!

  7. Good luck! And lol for some reason I like Eq Entries and find it easy to use. (And my recent experience with horseshowtime left me appreciating it even more!!!)

  8. Yay! So exciting! You're gonna have SO MUCH FUN!

  9. I will keep my crossables crossed that you get your ammy status back in time and I think they just updated the rules last night about spectators, probably because you made their ears burn!

  10. I THINK USEF just now updated their spectator protocol? (Probably right after you wrote this blog). It was on the Chronicle somewhere last I saw it ... but it does sound like we can have limited spectators. Depends on facility I think.