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Bel Joeor Sale and Giveaway!

Amanda from Bel Joeor is hosting a big sale on her Etsy site and a giveaway on her blog!  She makes beautiful saddle covers and bags.  I highly recommend checking out her shop and entering her contest.  


UNH Dressage Show - June 26-27, 2010

I love showing at UNH (University of New Hampshire) for many reasons.  It is not that far from home, it has great trailer parking, and I went to college there!!!  :D  That is the biggest reason I love to show at UNH; as an alumnae I feel like I am riding on my home turf.  A lot of people dislike riding at UNH because of the set-up and the small(er) warm up.  But I just love it.  And Dreamy really likes showing there too.  UNH has two summer USDF/USDF shows each year, as well as three USEA horse trials.

The bad part about UNH is that they do not split classes junior/senior for pinning.  So that meant that last year we totally went home empty handed.  :(  That is fine, since ribbons are not what showing is all about, but c'mon.  I admit that after spending hundreds of dollars to show, it is nice to bring SOMETHING home!  LOL!  So last year I just focused on improving our scores and being happy to place 14th in a class of 20 something riders.

So, this year I was just thinking of my scores.  Let's have four good rides and not worry about everything.  I signed up to ride Training 2 and 4 both Saturday and Sunday.  Thankfully we are close enough (80 minutes) away so that we can ride and go home, not have to stay overnight.


Well, my positive thinking paid off.  We had the BEST show EVER in our USDF rated show history!  :) :) :)


Dreamy was a complete peach.  She was Little Miss Perfect Manners Pony.  I think that has a lot to do with my own mindset (of course!) because I feel so at home at UNH.  And I really have tried to focus on just enjoying her this year and not stressing so much about scores.


We rode a nice Training level test 2 on Saturday morning.  It was a gorgeous summer day, and I really loved being able to show.  I was pretty happy with how our first test went and really felt that we scored well.  We then had FIVE HOURS until our Training 4 test, which was boring!  But again, I just enjoyed being with my horse, played on my iPhone, and rested in the shade.  It was not that bad!  And, as I always seem to do at dressage shows, I met another mom who was showing.  It is neat to meet another working mom trying to show and enjoy dressage on the weekends!  :)


I took a walk over to the scoring table to pick up my test around noontime.   I was speechless to find we had not only scored a solid 60.357%, but we placed SIXTH in a class of fourteen riders!  YAY!!!!!!  


I felt really good about Training 4.  Dreamy warmed up very well.  We put in what I thought was a very well ridden test.  I took my time cooling her out, cleaning up the trailer, and getting everything organized.  I knew that by the time I got home I would not want to fuss around to get things ready to show again tomorrow.  Also, there was still an hour left of my class, so I knew it would be almost 2 hours before the results would be ready.  And there was NO WAY I could go home without picking up my test and seeing my score.  I knew that in order to sleep, I needed to see my score.


I was SO HAPPY to see the 60.800% next to my name!  YAY!  It was a bigger class with nineteen riders, and I was pleased to have placed 11th.  Big deal about the ribbon.....we had FINALLY broken 60% at a USDF show at Training 4!  We had our first qualifying test for an All Breed Award!  YESSSSS!!!!!


After being gone for almost 12 hours, Dreamy and I were happy to be home.  I am sure we both feel asleep easily on Saturday night!  :D


Sunday morning was another early morning, another gorgeous day, and we left again at 6:30 AM.  My rides were much closer together on Sunday, which was nice.  Again, Dreamy warmed up well.  But I think we were both a little tired, and I KNOW I was sort of feeling cocky.  We had a "tough" judge and I knew it was not our best test.  It was also in the grass ring and by Sunday it was very pockmarked so Dreamy tripped a few times at the canter, which really threw off her already tenuous balance.  Yeah, we got fours on that canter circle, which is what hurt our score.  But it was the best we could have done at that moment.  We earned a 57.857% and another sixth place ribbon out of nine riders.  The ribbon was fun, since as I said we had never won anything at UNH in 2009, but still I wish we had broken 60% without the ribbon!  LOL!


We had a 2.5 hour break, and I really tried to mentally prepare for my last test.  I had purposely NOT gone up to get my Training 2 test (so I still did not know my score) because I did not want to get myself all upset over a low(er) score.  It was a VERY good move, because I know seeing that 57.857% would have rattled me.  Instead I gave us both a good pep talk as we headed over for the last Training 4 test.  The sky had darkened a bit, and while I hoped the rain would hold off, it was NICE to not show in the blazing sun.  :)  Showing alone has many benefits, but the one thing I hate is not having someone in the warm up to hold my black dressage jacket for me until I need to wear it in my test!  LOL!


We were in Ring 1, which was were most of the upper level tests were.  We had Dot Demis again as our judge, who scored our first Training 2 test on Sat.  I rode into that ring feeling like I was riding a Grand Prix test; I was confident and ready to nail it.


I knew we had done a very good test at the end.  I could not help but smile.  Maybe it was not great in the entire scheme of dressage, but I KNEW it was the best test we could have done.  And because I was the last rider in my class, as soon as I had cooled my horse out and packed up, the scores were ready.  With 12 riders in my class, I had no plans for a ribbon.  I just really wanted to see that we scored about 60%. 


AND OH MY GOD!  We scored a 62.400% and A FOURTH PLACE RIBBON!  :)  Out of 12 riders!!!!  WHOOOO!  Again, I know that is not a really awesome score in the scheme of life, but for us it was like getting a 70%!  LOL!  That is the BEST score we have ever gotten at a USDF rated show, and it was at TRAINING 4!!  That is a hard test for us!  Seeing the two 8s, multiple 7s, some 6s and only two 5s (left canter) was amazing! 


I literally stood in front of the scoring chart in amazement for a few moments.  I was so shocked I couldn't even cry!  LOL!  But I had a PermaSmile a mile wide.  We did it!!!!!  I then turned around to the table to sign for my test and collect my ribbon, and I completely plowed into a woman standing just behind me.  WHOOPS!  I laughed and said I was sorry, but my score made me forget how to walk!  LOL!  

We got nice comments too...
  • Capable horse
  • Nice team
  • Very capable horse (underlined) This was cool because it was on our last Training 4 test!

And each test said "Needs better connection in canter".


But NO four beat canter!  We got 6s and 7s on GAIT!  :D :D :D


What an awesome feeling to do so well so early in the year.  I am SOOOO proud of my Dream Girl!  She might only be an "old horse with COPD" as someone once viciously said about her, but she is an awesome little horse!  I have worked so hard with her, I take very meticulous care of her, and she is just blossoming for me.  She is doing well in a sport that she is not bred to compete in.  She is always the ONLY Standardbred at the dressage shows we attend.  And if my "old COPD" mare can do it, ANYONE can!  I really hope that my story can help inspire others to try showing their Standardbred or even get a Standardbred to show!  :D


So all in all, what a great show.  What a wonderful milestone for us.  In one weekend, we earned the two qualifying scores at Training 4 that we need for a USDF All-Breed Award.  We are halfway to qualifying completely for an All-Breed Award; we only need two more scores at two more shows.  I have earned my USDF rider award at Training level this year (four 60%-plus scores) and Dreamy only needs a couple more scores to earn HER USDF horse performance certificate at Training level (ten 60%-plus scores).


No matter what anyone says, no matter what anyone wants to think, we have "done good".  It has taken  lots of sweat and tears, but we are having fun and doing well this year!  I know my mare is awesome, and THAT is what matters.  :D

Comments

Anonymous said…
Wonderful experience - you are right to be delighted with those scores and placings!
Lexa said…
Congratulations on breaking your goal of 60% twice! It's worth it to never take bad remarks to heart like the COPD one, because it just makes you work harder and then you feel even better when you come out on top.
STB Eventer said…
Thank you guys! :)

And you are sooooo right Lexa. Especially when the comment came from someone who totally has a "hate crush" on me. LOL! She actually write about ME and my horse on her blog that is supposed to be about her Standardbred! LOL! Seeing what rude things she is going to post about me after each show provides entertainment for myself and my friends. You just gotta laugh! Jealousy knows no bounds, I suppose! :P
Laura said…
I think you did extremely well! To get scores like that at a USDF show? That is just awesome. All of the work you put into Dreamy is really paying off for you...

Good luck on getting the rest of your scores for the other awards...!
Lilleman said…
WOW, Liz. Your last blog made me cry....!!
You have done such a nice job with Dreamy and the pictures in the previous post speaks for them self. She looks AMAZING!!!!!
I stand up and clap my hands for you! You and Dreamy are the BOMB!!!!!!