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Hidden Brook Farm Dressage Schooling Show - June 2, 2019

Ellie and I did a show at our lesson barn this past weekend instead of taking a lesson.  I would have done a lesson on Saturday before the show, but my instructor went to NEDA Spring with her eldest daughter, who was able to get her last Grand Prix score for her USDF Gold Medal!!!  So that is a good reason to not be able to lesson haha.

I admit I was a little bummed about our low scores at the SMDA show two weeks prior.  I know a score of 6 (60%) is called satisfactory, but I really thought our performance was better than a low 60%.
I was determined to ride well and even though Beth was not there, I had her youngest daughter as my back up if the wheels fell off the bus LOL!  She was already in the warmup and at the show ring with her actual students, so it was nice to have her there to remind me to breathe and not hang on the left rein!  ;-)
Ellie unloaded and was totally calm.  Honestly, she loves her lesson barn and knows it is her second home haha.  She was much calmer tied to the tra…

State of Maine Dressage Schooling Show - May 19, 2019

Ellie and I had our first official dressage show outing (besides the rally obviously!) two weekends ago.  I felt fairly confident about the show, having knocked off the rust at the rally and having had a really good lesson the day before the show.  I just wanted to have two smooth tests and get our canter leads correctly.  

I am super proud of how well Ellie behaves at shows now, except for her behavior while being tied to the trailer. Uggg. She has always been needy and prone to paw, but for some reason, she has suddenly decided the trailer itself is scary.  She will load and unload just fine, and she rides quietly; however, she has started to do that weird snort they do when they are spooked the entire time she is tied up.  She barely ate any hay and she couldn't stop moving.  It wasn't anywhere near explosive or horrible, but it was annoying and worrisome.  I don't want her to sit back and break her halter (she did that once at a lesson ugg), especially at a show on a busy road.  Nothing seems to help.  She is fine once I untie her and walk her around.  She is fine if I am holding her.  She is fine if I am riding her.  She has just decided standing at the trailer is the worst.  She has yet to realized she can just stand and chill and eat.  Like literally, that is her only job at a show when she is not being ridden.  *sigh*  
at least she looked smashing in her new ITBF bonnet
and DJD browband to match my AA Motionlite jacket
Otherwise, she was fabulous.  My plan is to start tying her to the trailer at home when we tack up, but I am waiting for the black flies to subside a bit haha.  

I planned it to have plenty of time to tack up and warm up, and it worked out great.  Our warm-up for Training 1 was quite good, and besides trying to pop her inside shoulder in the upwards canter transition, I was really pleased.  The western dressage riders before us took it upon themselves to hack out in the adjacent jump field, which is lower than the dressage warmup and technically closed, and it made all the horses in the warm up a bit worried.  I overheard one of the show staff at the warm-up gate wonder aloud to another volunteer if they should tell them to come back, but they never did anything.  That definitely annoys me when 1. show officials don't bother to enforce the rules, and 2. competitors don't bother to read/know and respect the rules.



Anyway, Ellie kept her brain in her head, I figured Training 1 would go well, and it really did!  I nailed both canter leads, despite the popped shoulder (especially the left lead/left shoulder) making her head fling in the air.  

We only had twenty minutes until our Training 2 ride, so I took a quick break at the trailer to get a drink and went we back to the warm up for a few more canter transitions.  She struck off in the wrong lead (to the left) and even though we got it correctly a few subsequent times, I was really hoping to do well in the test.

Thankfully, we did!  I remembered to ride every stride and every transition and to not ride passively at any point.  We got every single lead correct in both tests!  I was so happy with her, even though the scores did not reflect how well she had done.  Everything was straight 6s, with a 5 and a 7 here and there.  I understand if that is truly what we earned, but with a brand new L judge, I have found they like to stick with 6 across the boards.  *sigh*

Overall, we ended up with a 61.154% in Training 1 for second place and a 60.345% in Training 2 for sixth place.  


Comments

  1. Yay!! Congrats on a great first outing. Eeyore is a butthole at the trailer and will paw, squeal and rear when he gets bored. I don't like unhooking him because then he gets his way but I also fear him pulling back and getting loose. Horses. is it that hard to chill and eat a buffet!!!???!

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    1. I know, I'm like all I expect you to do is relax and eat, which is literally your most favorite thing ever hahaha. Oh well. I do think she will get more used to it eventually. Just needs lots of practice.

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  2. The fixation with sixes is very annoying. When you get a judge that uses the full range it's refreshing! But anyway congratulations on the show results.

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    1. It is the weirdest phenomenon, but I have to believe that it is true as I have seen this with new judges for over ten years! It is nice to see the full range of scores, because there are definitely times when you can score an 8 on a lovely movement and then botch everything up for a 4 hahaha. I really don't think most tests are straight 6s haha.

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  3. yay on you and Ellie. Nothing is more frustrating when the scores don't reflect how you felt you did. Tho she is the cutest no matter what!

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    1. Exactly! I knew we had done well and she is definitely cute! ;-)

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  4. This may be the endurance rider in me talking, but do you think a hi-tie would help ease her trailer anxiety? She'd be restrained, but not hard tied and the freedom to move around might take care of that trapped snorty behavior. Obviously you'd have to practice at home and it would be an investment, but it's a thought that crossed my mind while reading this.

    She is the CUTEST. I love her little face, and especially with the brow band and fly bonnet. So pretty! Sounds like the tests went well, too! She's getting to be such a grown up little dressage pony <3 I love reading about your journey with her.

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    1. That is funny you mention a hi-tie because I have thought the exact same thing! I use the Blocker Tie Ring to help her not feel trapped, which I do like, but I still worry.

      And thank you! I love that you enjoy following along. She is pretty darned cute and has definitely grown up a lot this year! :-)

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  5. She looks so calm and confident - congratulations!

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    1. Thank you! She is definitely coming into her own...finally!

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