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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

Isaac Royal Dressage Show - July 10-11, 2010

Dreamy and I did quite well at this past weekend's dressage show at Isaac Royal Farm in Dover-Foxcroft, ME.  The judge was Sara Schmitt who is an "S" judge.  I drove the three hours north on Friday afternoon, got Dreamy settled in, and spent the night at the farm.  Saturday morning was overcast and slightly misty, which was fine with me.  Better than being roasted in the hot sun.  We were riding Training 1 and Training 2 both Saturday and Sunday.  I decided to move from Training 4 to 1 simply because we had already earned our qualifying scores at Training 4.  I just wanted to accumulate a few good solid 60%-plus rides and Training 1 is easier for us than Training 4.


My ride times were early and close together.  Training 1 felt a little tight.  We were riding both tests in the small arena, which we have not done in two years.  But it was an OK test.  I made a few piloting errors and our canter was a bit strung out.  But we scored a 61.304% and a third place out of four riders, which I was happy with.  All were 6s and 7s, with a few 5s on our left canter....while the right canter scored 6s!  AND WE GOT A 7 ON GAITS!!!  WHOOOOO!!!  First time ever!  Her canter is coming so nicely!  :)  The judge wrote at the end...."Willing horse, needs more elastic connection".


Within 20 minutes it was time for our Training 2 test.  I really like this test very much and I have been riding it for two years.  It did feel cramped in the small arena, but I was much more prepared for it this time around.  It felt like a really good test and I was super happy leaving the arena.  We scored a 64.642% and a first place ribbon!  WHOOO!  It was rewarding to look at a test from a rated show and see ALL 6s and 7s!  We again scored another 7 on GAITS (that makes me so happy!) and a 7 on rider.  I seem to be stuck at 6 for rider score, so that was nice.  And two 7s on gaits.......so rewarding!  Usually we get a 4 or 5 with the word CANTER in the margin.  I know she has a great walk and trot, but her canter seems to pull us down.  :(  I personally think a 4 or 5 just because her canter was iffy last year was sort of harsh, but hey whatever.  We have improved SO MUCH this year and each show we pull our scores up even higher.  We started at 60% on Training 2 in May, then 62%, and now a 64.642%!  This is why I like showing, because I can clearly see our progress.  The judge wrote at the end: "Well done!  Work for more stable connection and suppleness."


I was completely done riding just after 9AM.  And my Sunday ride times were not until 3PM.  UGGGG!  The TD is a good friend of mine, as I first met her when I took her "Intro to Equine Studies" class at UNH back in 1997.  I love catching up with her at shows and she gives me great advice with Dreamy.  We chatted and she told me she would be sure that if anyone scratched, she would allow me to ride early......even if it was not a Training level scratch.  That was SUPER nice of her, but I just felt like I needed to go home.  I really did not feel good, but I thought of waiting it out for a few hours just to see about early Sunday scratches.  I took my time getting Dreamy untacked, cooled out, and organized my trailer.
Then it began to rain.


Well, I was out of there by 10:30 AM!  LOL!  


And to be honest, even though I did scratch my Sunday rides and lose that money, I am SO GLAD I went home.  Something just told me to go.  I ended up getting VERY sick on Sunday afternoon, all day Monday, and finally went to the doctors (realizing this was NOT a virus as I tried to tell myself...) and was diagnosed with strep throat.  Oh joy.  Of course, the antibiotics work quickly and I was feeling much better by Tuesday night.  


So anyway, despite the short sickness (feeling totally fine now with just two days left of meds), Isaac Royal was a huge success.  I was super proud of my Dream Girl.  :D  It was also fun because a young friend was there riding a Standardbred gelding (owned by another friend.....) at his second ever dressage show and first ever rated show!  They did well at Introductory level and it is neat to watch them progress!  :)

Comments

  1. Be proud of Dreamy AND yourself! Good job, both of you.

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