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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 …

Sunset Farm 2-Phase

Dreamy and I had a good showing at the Sunset Farm 2-phase combined test on Sept. 18, 2010.  I had never shown there before.  We rode two dressage tests in the morning (Training 1 and 2) and then did the Modified Beginner Novice 2-phase in the afternoon.  The dressage tests went OK.  I wish I had been able to get a better warm-up before the classes...the area was a very small 30 m. circle area and quite honestly was not adequate.  With more than one other horse in there, it was impossible to do much trotting or cantering without running someone over.  :(  We had a 59% something on our first test and a 60%s omething on the second one.  Not horrible, but not great.  They scored all the Training tests as one big class so we did not place in the top 6th.....but got a 7th and 8th respectively.

Of course, I was all worried about memorizing my Beginner Novice A eventing dressage test.  Why did I think it would be a good idea to do three different tests in three hours?  I have no idea!  LOL!!!! I knew the test, but it is soooooo different from a regular dressage test.  For example, the first center line has NO halt.  You enter, go to X, then M and turn left.  So what I did do?  Entered and halted at X!!  LOL!  Of course, idiot me says SH!T! really loudly as soon as I see the perplexed look on the judge's face.  So I circle around and try again.....LOL!  -2 for my error.  So, then we go around and do our first trot circle to the left at A.  We are supposed to then immediately do a canter circle at A.  So what do I do?  Ask for the canter and then GO TO B for my canter circle!!!  AHHHHH!!!!!!  LOL!  I was laughing at this point.  At least I did not freak out or anything!  :D  I guess going off course twice made me suddenly remember the test perfectly, for the rest of it went well.  I have NEVER gone off course in a dressage test and while for a minute I was pretty embarrassed, what the hell.  No one is perfect and I rather go off course at a rinky dink show like this one then at NEDA Spring or something!  We ended up with a 39.5 despite the -6 error points!  (That would have been a 66.5% in a dressage test, without the errors which were MINE, so I am happy!)  Dreamy was better as we had more time to warm up with less horses in the warm up.

Afterwards, we got to jump!!!  :D  It was a decent course with good footing and good lines.  The jumps were supposed to be 2' or less but seemed to be higher.  They set the cups at 2' but with the rails it was 2'3".  I always thought you were supposed to measure the top of the RAIL not the bottom of the jump cup, but hey, whatever.  We were the only ones to go clean and do the course properly, so we ended up in second place out of four riders!  :)  Yay Dreamy mare!

No pics...I went alone and have not had a moment to snap a pic of her ribbon!