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Wentworth Hunter Pace - June 6, 2021

After Margaret and I had such a fun time at the fall hunter pace, we opted to go again this spring! This time, while I rode Rejoice again, Margaret rode her horse Jester and had a friend ride Ladyhawke. All Kennebec Morgans!! Jester and Rejoice have the same dam and Jester and Lady share the same sire. Unfortunately instead of a lovely late spring day, we had one of the first intensely hot and humid days of the year. It was definitely a bummer, but the ride was mostly in the shade of the woods and we had a great time!  most of the fences were 3' coops but we found a small log and this hay to jump haha Until we didn't. 😑 We brought along a third friend who rode Margaret's older mare, Ladyhawke. She's a good rider but hasn't known Ladyhawke for very long and didn't realize how much of a cranky boss mare she could be at times. She kicked Jester right in the front leg just about halfway through the ride, and while the cut itself ended up not being a big deal in the

WMDA Team Show - August 19, 2018

The third and final show at my lesson barn was this past Sunday!  It was also a fundraiser for the Western Maine Dressage Association and a "team" show, which meant we were organized into teams for an awards ceremony at the end of the day.  Each test was awarded 1-7th like usual, but then the team scores were averaged for a champion and reserve champion in each division.  There were four types of teams: same test levels, same rider designation (AA, open, or jr/yr), mixed bag of nuts (any levels/designations), and free range (freestyle tests only).  I paired up with two other riders from my lesson barn who were also doing Training level tests.

Yup, that's right, I put on my big girl pants and rode our first Training level 1 test!  Whoo!  The plan had been to ride Intro B as a warm up and then Training 1.  Now looking back, I kinda wish we had done a Training 1 and a Training 1 reride, which is something that is becoming more popular at shows here in the last couple years.  But it is not something I personally have ever done and I didn't even think about it until after I was finished showing haha.  Oh well!

spoiler alert: it was a good day!
This entire premise was a lot of fun.  I mean, who doesn't love to break out the white polo wraps, win a neck ribbon, and do a victory canter around the arena LOL!?!  (I admit I had to do a little searching to find my white polo wraps while packing the day before!)  Not to mention, this past Sunday was also my birthday, so it really was the perfect day!  My family thinks I am crazy that I would choose to spend my birthday at a horse show, but they put up with it haha.  At my age, all I wanted was a cake (thank you, husband) and the day to show my horse!  I finished my tests a little after 11, and volunteered in the "show office" aka tack room with my instructor until the awards ceremony at the end of the show around 2:30.  

I have all my Introductory level scores for WMDA year end awards, so this show was totally no pressure.  This was a good thing since the judge was an actual "r" judge, not a learner, and she is notoriously a tough scorer anyway.  All I wanted was to put down solid tests for where we are at right now and break 60%.

Except of course, me being such an overachieving overthinker, I woke up Saturday morning decidedly waaaay too nervous about riding a Training 1 test.  See here for my thoughts about calling it Intro D hahahahaha.  I texted Beth and asked if she would be willing to come to the warm up ring to talk me off the ledge before Training 1, and she agreed.  I immediately felt better and we had a great pre show ride Saturday morning, nailing all our canter leads and having no fussiness in any of the trot work. 

I have never had an instructor coach me at a show as an adult, but for some reason, I just needed Beth to be there.  I can be brave, but I also knew I didn't have to be brave on my own LOL!  Of course, since she owns the barn haha, it wasn't a huge deal to ask her to come over to warm up for ten minutes; before I left at the end of the day, I asked how much I owed her, and she laughed me off and said absolutely nothing.  She also let me have a stall for Ellie so she didn't have to stand on the trailer for hours between our last test and the awards ceremony.  I was fully expecting to pay for both her coaching and the stall, and it was definitely kind of her to not charge me.

Intro B is definitely too easy at this point, but it was good to go in the ring and do the thing.  I thought it was a solid test and we scored 6.5s and 7s for the entire thing with a 7.5 on rider position for a 66.5625% and a first place.  Further remarks: Well done!  Work to develop a rounder connection at times with more relaxation!

Training 1 went well overall except for the left lead canter.  I swear I cannot ride a test without messing up one of the leads haha.  I am overthinking the left lead canter transition at the moment, as it seems if I don't ask firmly enough she doesn't canter right away but if I ask too strongly, she is picking up the wrong lead.  Funny how the left lead used to be our easy lead and now the right lead is.  That is always the way!  We had a wrong left lead and then two lovely correct left leads in warm up, so I felt confident we could do it in the test.

Once we entered the ring to warm up (we then are allowed to leave and come back in), both the judge and scribe decided they needed a potty break.  That was fine, though it wasn't scheduled, but it gave me an extra 7 minutes to ride around and start stressing again.  Oh my lord, why am I becoming such a baby in my old age hahaha.  It did give Ellie a moment to just chill in the ring before we started our test, but it wasn't good for my brain.  

Beth offered to video Training 1 on my phone for me, which I happily agreed to.  Sadly, my phone battery has decided it cannot hold a charge, so it went from 100% to zero after about 25 seconds of taping.  I have us circling the ring, entering at A, halting at X, and then starting our first trot circle.  :-(

The funniest part of the left lead circle was I knew immediately she had picked up the wrong lead, but as I asked her to trot, she did a freaking flying change LOL!  It was clean and I was like welp, OK then.  I think Beth was more excited about the change then the rest of the test, and even the judge wrote under further remarks: Unfortunate mistake on the left canter but nice flying change! (smiley face)  She still gave us a 3 on the transition, which was a bummer, while the rest of the test was 6.5s and 7s with a 5 on submission.  Blah.  We still met my goal of breaking 60 with a 60.4348% and placed sixth.  Hey, whatever, we did the damn test and I know if I can get my act together, we can easily score even higher.  I scored the lowest on my team, but at least my teammates pulled out decent scores haha.

Had I been able to do Training 1 again instead of choosing to do Intro B as the warmup, I think our second try would have been even better.  I think I would have been able to ride the test without getting into my head.  Live and learn.  At least we don't have to have another "first" time at Training level, so now I can cool my jets LOL!

After Ellie was cooled out and settled in her stall, Beth put me to work sorting ribbons.  She was scoring tests and I would then take each class set of tests out with the corresponding ribbons.  I helped adjust the ring from small to large.  But mostly I just hung out and chatted with other riders and with Beth, because there wasn't that much work.  Ellie was pretty pleased with her new stall and was acting as though she was moving in to the farm permanently, which was funny but good.  She has come a long way this year in her confidence in herself and in me, so I was happy she was so relaxed.  Granted, we are there every week for a lesson, but it is still a nice change from our first showing attempts in late fall 2017!
omg the polos are so adorable
Soon it was time to get ready to do the awards ceremony.  Ellie was like uhhhh, we are doing the thing again?  But she was happy to hang out with all the horses up by the ring and was obsessed over my teammate's tiny pony haha.  She was a little weirded out about the car that showed up at F, in order to play music haha, but otherwise she was really well behaved.  Our Training level team ended up winning champions of the "same level" division, so we earned our first neck ribbon whooo!  

yay neck ribbon!  our third teammate did not stay for the ceremony

Ellie was DYING to touch noses with her new pony BFF

trying to keep her away from the pony lol


  1. Oh, how fun. I've never done a team event. Nice neck ribbon too!

    1. This was my first time, too! It was a fun bonus to an already fun show.

  2. OMG her in those white polos! So adorable!

    Sounds like an amazing way to spend your birthday. :)

    1. I put them on and was like OMG I COULDN'T LOVE HER ANY MORE THAN RIGHT NOW and had to snap a pic hahahaha. Her adorableness tripled! It was a super fun way to have a birthday! The last time I was at a show on my birthday was 12 years ago and a friend sang Happy Birthday to me over the PA system. It was a riot LOL!

  3. just think back to last winter when you were hoping on her and not sure where you all would be by now. Just think :) So proud of you both! She looks great. And I swear as we get older our nerves or anxieties intensify. ASK ME HOW I KNOW (Not even talking about riding but life)

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY what a great day that must have been :)

    1. RIGHT!?! Thank you! I am so proud of her too, for going along with all my requests. She really took things in stride this year.

      Seriously, I have always been a wound up Type A ball of anxious, and it certainly had gotten better as I have gotten older. But then stupid things like Training 1 make me want to pee myself LOL!!

      It was the perfect birthday! And the ribbons were the perfect present haha!

  4. omgggg look at that neck ribbon tho!!!! what a freakin tragedy about your phone cutting out during the test, but it sounds like a great day! congrats on the successful move to training too, sounds like Ellie's definitely ready!

    1. Right!? So cute! When I looked over during my first canter circle and saw my instructor not holding my phone up any longer, I KNEW the stupid thing had died. I was like welp, so much for preserving this memory LOL and now there is nothing for the blog haha. She is definitely ready for Training and I am glad I was able to get my first ride over with so now our future Training level tests won't be that bad at all! (My instructor jokingly said, well.......yeah, until you have your first First level ride, first Second level ride....and I was like JUST LET ME GET THROUGH THIS FIRST haha!)

  5. What a great show and a neck ribbon!!!! Swoon! Jealousy!


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