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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 TSAS Combined Test 2012

Dreamy and I kicked off the 2012 show season down at my alma mater, the University of New Hampshire!  On April 15 we went to the TSAS Combined Test.  We brought along our good buddies, Tania and Otis, and we all had a great day!

Fuzzy mare hanging at the trailer
We had a pretty decent dressage test, but for some reason, Dreamy is not a fan of the footing at UNH or something.  She does a weird hoppy thing in the trot down there and it often makes the judge think she is sore or stiff.  She has not been like that at all at home, at lessons, or at other places this year, so I am going to have to chalk it up to the footing.  It is sort of heavy sandy type footing that almost feels "sticky".  Oh well.  We scored a 33 in dressage, which I was happy with.  That is like a 67% in regular dressage.

The funny thing is that the judge is someone who has judged us many times over the last five years.  I really like her as a judge, and I think she is fair.  She was diplomatic enough at the end to say that our canter looked OK, but that she realized that this was "probably the best it was going to be" and she felt I was riding it as best as I could.  She did make a comment at the end of the test about Dreamy's age; she basically said that while she looks great for her age (21), that she would "love to see me on a younger horse".  She admitted she meant no disrespect to me or my horse and thought we looked good, but you could tell she wanted to be like, "This is not a dressage horse!!"  LOL!  I felt a little defeated at first, wondering if I should just retire Dreamy for good.  I mean, I fully realize we have hit our limit in dressage, and I had planned to spend the year playing around at Beginner Novice eventing and trying some new, fun things (team penning, foxhunting, etc).  The BN A test is pretty much a Training 2 test, so after spending last year at First level, I knew the dressage would be fine.  Dreamy will probably never do a regular dressage show again.  I will keep doing what we are doing as long as she is happy and sound.

Anyway, I was bummed, but I also realized that the judge only echoed what I already knew.  She really was not being mean or disrespectful at all.  In fact, after dwelling on it for about a half hour, I realized I actually MUCH rather have her say what she did and give us a sort of backhanded compliment that to go on and on about how I should be fixing her canter, doing this, doing that, yadda yadda.  When dressage judges do that, I feel like rolling my eyes and saying, "Yeah, OK, thanks, I know her canter is not "normal", it is what it is, she is a freaking old broodmare, chill out, I am just an adult amateur having FUN!"  HA HA HA HA!  Obviously, I don't and just smile and say thank you.  I recognize it is their job to "judge" us on what they see and our backstory really doesn't matter.  

Then of course, when I went up to the scoreboard, I realized that our score was better than everyone else in our division, both junior and senior, as well as those in the other divisions too.  (Not that you can really compare tests, but still, we had one of the best scores of the day!!)  So, I left feeling that we are "just fine".

Dreamy "Starlit".....ahhhh, gotta love how one of our names is always spelled incorrectly.  ;-p
We went clear in stadium to go on to win our division of four!  Yay mare!  She was so good and happy to be out and about.  She even "put up with" Otis without any mean mare shenanigans.  LOL!  He and Tania did well and finished second in their division of four!  This CT made me confident to enter Beginner Novice at Green Acres Horse Trial in May!  :-D

Showin' 'em how to get it done with a Standardbred.  Good mare!  I love that saddle pad!!
View the professional pics here!


samihob said…
Your blog is Haynets Blog of the Day today! Come and take a look:
Teresa said…
Sounds like you're doing the best you can with Dreamy. I wouldn't fully retire her--it's good to keep the old girl moving. =)
Val said…
Dreamy still won the class you are more than fine! Congrats on a very successful day.
Sarah said…
Congratulations! You guys looked great! Looking forward to seeing you out hunting this fall! :)