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CNER United States Pony Club Dressage Rally - May 11, 2019

Our very first ever PC rally was this past Saturday at Apple Knoll Farm in Millis, MA. It kind of cracks me up that I joined PC for the express purpose of access to more jumping instruction opportunities, and my first mounted experience is a dressage rally hahaha.  

But honestly, it was so much fun.  Maybe it is because I am so used to showing alone or maybe because I love the show prep and set up just as much (if not more) than the actual riding, but competing in a PC rally is now one of my most favorite experiences.  And I cannot wait to do more!  I think the only thing different for this show was having to label EVERYTHING with my name.  Otherwise, my show prep was just the same as normal.

Sadly, our original team of four riders ended up dwindling to just two, as one young rider ended up sick with a 103 fever and a barn was quarantined because of a horse with EHV-4 so none of the PC members from that large boarding barn could attend. Therefore, my remaining teammate and I were split …

Taking Stock :)

Four posts in one day!  Whew!  I have had so much to write about but very little time to do so.  Happy reading!!!  :)

Dreamy and I have come so far in everything we have tried.  All I have to do is go back and read earlier blog posts to prove this.  Having proof of progress was the driving force behind my reason to start a blog, so that I could have a training journal and take stock on how far we had come, especially when I had a not-so-stellar ride.


Despite having grown up with Morgans, I have always loved to event.  I evented my Morgan mare Sparky and loved it.  I had to stop jumping her when she turned 19 because of bone spavin in her hocks, so I switched disciplines to carriage driving.  We competed successfully until I retired her at age 24.  

When I began riding Dreamy, eventing was my goal because I missed it.  I wanted to do some low level eventing and have fun.  And we have done just that.....hence the reason for my blog "handle" of STB Eventer.  :D  I could not decide if I was an eventer who liked to do dressage shows for fun or a dressage rider who did events for fun.  (And we also have done hunter shows for fun too!  LOL  But that's another story...)  In the end, I have discovered that I am really a dressage rider who cannot help but ride in a few events a year in order to gallop cross country! 


This year we have yet to do any events, only because our dressage shows all conflicted with them.  But now we have the rest of the summer and fall to event!  YAY!  And with Dreamy approaching 20 years old, I have been very selective and careful how much I jump her anyway.  So it has really worked out perfect.


There are many ways to take stock, but I am going to focus on our dressage goals for purposes of this post.  I hope that my readers (and I have 36 followers now!  WHOO!)  and anyone who happens upon this post will come away with the understanding that dressage REALLY is for ANY horse.  If I can do what I have done with an older retired racehorse/broodmare Standardbred, then anyone can!  :)


Our success has not come overnight.  I first started Dreamy under saddle the year I got her in 2003.  I rode her maybe ten times a year from 2003-2006, just walk and trot, puttering around the backyard.  I was too busy showing my Morgan to really give Dreamy much saddle time.  It was not until July of 2006 when I made the decision to really focus on Dreamy and take her to one show that year.  I started her "serious" under saddle training and six weeks later we went to a local open show that August.  For me, it would be how to figure out if I wanted to pursue training and showing Dreamy in 2007, which would be my Morgan's first year of retirement.  At that local show, Dreamy won a bunch of blue ribbons and was happy as a pig in mud.  That clinched it!  :D


My goals were low for 2007.  Stay on the horse and stay in the ring.  LOL!  But she blew me away with a 68.5% and a first place ribbon on her very FIRST dressage test ever (Intro A)!  :)  And as you can read in this blog, things have certainly blossomed from there.  Here is a rundown, my way of taking stock with numbers:


2007 (local SMDA shows and rode both tests 4 times)
Intro A = 63.75% average
Intro B = 66% average


2008 (local SMDA shows and rode both tests 6 times)
Intro B =  66.58% average (earned a few 70%'s that year!)
Training 1 = 59.61%


2009 (rated USDF shows)
Training 2 = 58.30% (ridden 8 times)
Training 4 = 56.3% (ridden 8 times)
Overall average = 57.302%
Overall median = 56.786%



2010 (rated USDF shows)
Training 1 = 62.83% (ridden twice)
Training 2 = 63.57% (ridden 5 times)
Training 4 = 60.80% (ridden 3 times)
Overall average = 62.482% (that's a 5.18% increase!)
Overall median = 61.304% (and a 4.518% increase!!)

I am so proud to see how the scores have improved.  Obviously shows are not everything, as there have been many other ways we have improved that cannot be scored on one test at one moment in time.  But I like to show because it gives me concrete feedback on where we are.  I have gone up a full rider point from 2009 to 2010.  In 2009 I used to get 5s and 6s on rider.  This year I have gotten 7s and even one 8!!  And an average of 62% is not THAT great overall in the scheme of dressage.  BUT I did it on a STANDARDBRED at RATED USDF SHOWS!  To me, that is pretty freaking awesome. 

For the rest of the year we are going to keep having fun and working hard to improve.  I have one more local dressage show to do here in Maine, in order to qualify for Maine Dressage Society awards.  We will also do dressage at Nationals.  But now I want to do some events, compete in the last MHA show with STB classes, go to the Standardbred National show again, and have a BLAST at WEG in our breed demos!  :D 

Here's hoping we are ready for First Level next year.  :D :D :D  Not sure exactly what the plans will be.  Maybe I will just do Training 4 and First 1 and try to qualify for USDF Regionals at Training level.  Maybe I will just do the local schooling shows at First 1 and 2 to get our feet wet.  Maybe I will do a little of both.  ;-)  My mare will tell me what she can do, because really it is about listening to my horse.  Maybe we will FINALLY get to do some team penning!!!!!!!!!!!!  Actually, that is a huge dream that I betcha we can accomplish!  LOL!

Sometimes I feel like I am just bragging on and on about my horse.  Well, in a way, I am!  LOL!  It's my blog and I'll brag if I want to.....nah nah nah!  :-P  But also, I really want to show how with lots of sweat and tears, a little luck, and a great instructor, you can really do ANYTHING you set your mind to do...with a STANDARDBRED!  

I think we have lived up to our blog name!  :D  LOL!!!!

Comments

AareneX said…
I don't think I've ever seen a horse ruined by training it too slowly--and Dreamy's experience certainly proves that slowness is a good thing!

She's doing so wonderfully, give yourself a star.
Laura said…
You have every right to brag and be proud of your accomplishments!

I think you set a great example of taking care of your horses and training/showing them at appropriate levels. How awesome that you were able to show your Morgan mare until the age of 24 by switching disciplines!

So many people buy/sell/trade horses after a year of this or that and don't really take the time to develop themselves or the horse...

Way to go!