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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 …

Hidden Brook Farm Show results 6/21/08

Today we competed at Hidden Brook Farm in Norway, ME. This is a MDS/WMDEA show so will not count towards our SMDA year ends, just for state points. To qualify at two levels, I need to do 6 shows (6 tests at each level). Last year I was able to do just the four SMDA shows because I only qualified at one level. Luckily I realized this before it was too late......LOL! Gotta get those year end awards!

Here are our results:
Intro B = 61.5%, fourth place (out of 6)
Training 1 = 57.8261%, second place (out of 4)

HOLY COW!!!! We may just earn a 60% someday at Training level! :D

Dreamy warmed up well, but then tensed up as soon as we entered the ring. The judge was in a horse trailer, which stressed her out. :( Silly girl. So being tense affected our tempo, which made the test rushed and a bit sloppy. I think I am so focused on the Training test that I am "throwing away" my Intro test. It is almost like I am thinking, this is the "easy" test and our "warm-up".....which is NOT true. I want to ride the Intro test just as well as any other test. So I need to fix my thinking about the tests......AND I need help slowing our tempo! Sometimes when I half-halt to slow/re-balance she just roots on the bit and I cannot seem to use my legs enough to push her out into the bridle. Not sure on this one.....something for my lesson this Tuesday. Plus she really flipped her head around in both tests today. I need to figure out what I am doing incorrectly.

I also had a hard time with my 10 m turn onto the center line. I think I need to do some of the test movements during a lesson sometime so I can fine tune the movements. I was frustrated with myself becuase I REALLY thought about keeping my outside hand, but nevertheless each time we turned onto the center line (final salute) it was NOT a straight turn.

Training 1 was FABULOUS. We scored all 6s and 7s, with two 8s, and just a couple 5s!!!! We even got a SIX on our right lead canter (and a 5 on the left....her bad side). I was in the game this time, our half halts were there, etc etc and I was much more focused. She did anticipate the canter yet again, but only got a couple of little "hops" in, not an actual canter stride. :) She hopped in our last trot circle and then all the way up the center line. Need help with this! Good thing I have a lesson in three days!

The judge really liked Dreamy (big surprise, LOL!) and said she was a nice mover. Told me to do hundreds of trot/canter transitions, and then after that do hundreds more. I laughed and she said, "NO really, do hundreds of them. You will get bored before she does." She said, "She'll get it and she will become balanced and she will have a gorgeous canter. You just wait."

So I am pretty pleased with my horse and her efforts! :) I just have to FIX ME!

USDF Intro B

Training Level Test 1

Stills from the to enlarge.

And of course, my completely adorable C! :)