Skip to main content

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 …

Esprit Equestrian Center 2-Phase - July 24, 2016

On Sunday, July 24, Snappy and I headed to our second 2-phase event of the year.  It was held at a farm here in Maine that I have surprisingly never been to before.  I was happy to find it was a well run show at a great venue, and I do plan to go back for a few more of their 2-phases this year!

We arrived and I quickly realized the dressage was held in their indoor.  That's not a problem at all, however Miss Snap Dancer has never been inside an indoor, so I was unsure how she might react.  She was again calm and easy to tack up and we had a super nice warm up.  We headed towards the indoor for our test and she stopped dead at the door.  No way, no how was she entering that ring. LOL!  I stayed calm, of course, and just kept my leg on her and encouraged her forward.  The barn manager happened to be in the ring at the time to collect tests from the judge, and took pity on me haha.  She headed over to help lead us into the ring and just before she got to us, Snappy decided to enter on her own.  Yay mare!  She was Not Happy about it though and I immediately walked her to the opposite end to see the scary people sitting there.  She was wide eyed and snorty, but I walked her around the ring both directions.  The judge is a very kind and encouraging type of person, so she gave me time to settle the mare.  I picked up the trot once I could feel her start breathing again haha, and we did a few 20 meter circles in both directions.  OK, we've got this.  The judge rang the bell and we put in a super test, earning a 33.44 and second place after dressage.  We improved our score by nearly 6 points from our first 2-phase, so I was really pleased.  The entire test was 6.5s, 7s and a 7.5 on rider position.  Not only did we put in a solid test, but I was really happy with how Snappy was able to rely on my calmness and trust me enough to settle down so quickly and easily.  That was worth more than any score.

I walked my jump course and then had a bit of wait time until we had to jump.  The course was really nice and flowy, in a gorgeous field with slightly rolling hills.  The jumps were considerably more decorated than at Green Acres, with brush boxes, blue barrels, and even tires, so Snappy was Very Alert for our first two jumps haha.  She got really wiggly over the second jump, where we landed and rode parallel through fences 7 and 8 (which were set as a three stride).  I was looking straight ahead and very clearly was not going to steer her into a fence standard, but she got sticky and darted left and then sharply back to the right and I was like NO I AM NOT FALLING OFF YOU MARE!  I have much more willpower to stay on than I think I do LOL!  I was able to keep her much straighter through fences three and four (though four had the scary barrels!) and then by fence five she was fine.  There was a skinny vertical for fence six, which I thought could have been interesting, but she was fine.  Tiny 18" jumps are no match for a determined rider with a driving seat haha!  

We ended up second overall, losing to a professional rider on a pony at its first show, so that was ok LOL!  ;-)  I was so pleased with Snappy's attitude, which started off as NO WAY WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE and quickly transformed into bravery.  That is what I want to see, a horse who trusts me enough to know I am not going to put her in a bad spot or situation and trusts me enough to stay calm even if she's nervous.  GOOD MARE!

My super duper 12 year old videographer/photographer was off with his father, so you'll have to make due with this pic I snapped myself haha!  



Comments

  1. In Canada, red is 1st and blue is 2nd, so if you hadn't mentioned the fact you were in 2nd I'd have just assumed you won! Well done, either way :)
    I'm taking my 3 y/o OTTB to a combined training on the weekend. Here's hoping our weekend ends as well as yours!

    ReplyDelete
  2. LOL Kate, I always forgot about that flip flop in colors in Canada! Haha! Good luck and I wlll be looking for a blog pos to hear all about it! :-)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment!