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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 …

Dressage on the Seacoast at UNH - July 31, 2010

This post could also be titled Dreams Do Come True, or some other such corny line.  LOL!  I love showing at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) because I went to school there.  I wrote about all that here after the July UNH show (they do two dressage shows and three horse trials each year).  


I only needed ONE more show for a USDF All Breed Award.  I had all my scores (you need 8) but you also need 4 shows.  So instead of entering for both days, I only signed up for classes on Saturday.  I did this because four scores were not needed, but I also did this to save money.  Rated shows are EXPENSIVE!  Technically, all I needed to do was ride one test at UNH, but I signed up for both Training 1 and 2, just in case!  LOL!


Dreamy warmed up well.  We were to ride both tests for Marlene Schneider (S).  Unfortunately we had to ride both tests in the grass ring which is always difficult footing.  I think they ought to just take the sod off and make it dirt like the other two, but whatever.  LOL!  But our first ride was at 8:30AM, so the grass was still pretty wet.  And it was long.  We had a minor slip in the first canter circle and it rattled Dreamy.  She did not really want to canter on the grass, as she is very funny and self-preserving about her footing.


But overall, I was happy with the test.  I do not like Training 1 as much as Training 2, but it is the easiest test.  And all I needed was that one 60+% test and we had the Champion Training Level USDF All Breed Award!!!  ;-D


I only had 45 minutes between tests, which was nice.  We hacked back out to the trailer, I gave her a few moments break at the trailer, where I loosened the girth, gave her a sip of water, took a drink of water myself, and reviewed Training 2.  We went back to the warm-up ring with about 17 minutes to our ride.  I just wanted to trot her a bit more and do it.  


Just as the rider before me entered the ring, they announced the scores for my Training 1 ride.  They pin to 6th place, but they only announce fourth through first.  So they announce fourth with a 60%  (not us), then third (not us)....so I am thinking well, good lord, maybe we did not break 60% after all......  AND THEN THEY ANNOUNCE US AS SECOND PLACE!   WOOOOOW!  We earned a 64.348% and a second place ribbon out of nine riders!  The rider who did place first is a Grand Prix rider here in New England, so I felt pretty good.  LOL!


So now I am GRINNING like an idiot, trying not to cry, because while I just learned we clinched our USDF award, I now have to ride Training 2!  :D  BUT WE DID IT!  YAY! 


I know I floated through that test.  I love T2 anyway, know it like the back of my hand, but I was just so happy.  Dreamy tried really hard, not wanting to canter, but she did.  That final salute made me almost burst into tears.  All our hard work over the last four years have totally paid off.  


I did not even care what our Training 2 score was.  LOL!  But I cooled her out and cleaned everything up, taking my time because there was still 45 minutes left in my T2 class.   I bought lunch, picked up my T1 test and ribbon (which was all 7s and 6s), and browsed through the mobile tack unit on the grounds.


I found the pair of Kerrits breeches I have been coveting on sale!  WHOOO!  They are the Sit Tight Supreme breeches, which I like because the full seat is black not white.  I can never get my white breeches fullseat areas completely back to white, since they are rubbing on a black saddle the entire time I ride!  LOL!  And as a Kerrits ambassador, I really wanted to show in these breeches so I could write a review.   So I was super pleased to find them at only $75, with no tax (thank you NH!) and no shipping!  :D


I moseyed back over to the scoring tent to find that T2 had just been posted.  OMG!!!!!!!!!!!  We earned a 68.214% and a third place ribbon out of 12 riders!  And the second and first place riders were professionals!!!  :D  I was completely in shock (and still kind of am....LOL).  What an awesome score and awesome day!  This test was all 7s and two 8s with two 6s on the canter circles!!!  We got some great comments from both tests (my commentary in the parenthesis):  straight and steady, round and steady, good connection (!!!!),  smooth transition, nice big walk and overstep (this was the free walk score of 8!), obedient, nice bend, very nice test just needs better balance in canter, and nice activity ( the working walk where she used to get lateral but no longer does!)


I am still in shock as I write this.  I am SOOO proud of my mare.  I am sooooo thankful for my instructor's help.  I am just so pleased that after all the hard work, we did it!  As a friend of mine said on Facebook, "this proves the point that GOOD THINGS happen to GOOD PEOPLE!"  Yay!  I could NOT agree more.  :D  LOL!  Dreamy and I have tried so hard and worked so hard.  This is a huge accomplishment......we have qualified to be the USDF All-Breed Training Level Champion!  :)  Dreamy is only the third EVER Standardbred to earn a USDF award and the first ever at Training Level Adult Amateur.  Whew!  


First level here we come!!!!  :D

Comments

  1. OMG!!! That is AMAZING! over 68%?! I guess we can call you guys the Dream Team now! Congrats! That is fantastic! I can literally feels your excitement and sense of accomplishment through the computer LOL! Hopefully Jet and I will someday follow in your footsteps. This is why you are such a great role model. You not only put the Standardbred breed out there and competing with the big guys, but you are successful. Hopefully I will be the next generation in showcasing the Standardbred for what an awesome breed it is. Congrats again! We need PICS!

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  2. Thank you!!!!! It has been a long road to get here, but it has been SOOO worth it! You and Jet are definitely the next generation, my friend. You are doing great work too!! :D

    Professional pics and videos are coming!

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