"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo



Saturday, October 29, 2011

Parkland Horsemen's Association Dressage Show 10/23/11

I must apologize-I've been horrible about posting this last week-our computer was suuuuper slow, and it would take me 5 minutes just to complete 1 sentence here on Blogger. I was trying to upload photos of the show at least, while we had the computer fixed, and just that made the computer crash. I think I managed to fix it in the meantime, so here goes!

The show was this past  Sunday October 23rd. Lily loaded in Judy's step-up trailer like she'd done it every day of her life (Mark's has a ramp.) The show was wonderfully uneventful. It looked like it was going to storm on show day, so we rushed to leave the barn before it rained and were the first ones to arrive at the Parkland Equestrian Center. The overcast sky was a concern, as there is no place to take cover. This series of shows is very inexpensive because there is no barn-you don't have to pay a barn fee. Thankfully, the rain held up and the skies eventually cleared close to noon, and the early arrival gave us plenty of time to settle in. Lily was very "up" when we first unloaded, but after walking her around the grounds, the arenas, and longing her in the red sand warmup arena, she had settled down enough that I felt confident about getting on without her freaking out. From the moment I got on and we started our warmup, the tension completely left both of us. It was like schooling at home. Lily did REALLY well, considering it was her first show ever, and it was my first dressage show ever. We both managed to stay very calm from that point on, even getting decent scores (though I don't agree with the placements we received, but that's a whole other story. There is definetely some favoritism going on at this series of shows, considering the placement vs skill level of some of the other riders in 2 of my 3 classes). I was happy with our scores, however: we got a 63% in Intro A, 62% in Intro B, and a 65% in Intro C!! I was particularly excited about the 65, as I had been convinced C would be our worst class.  One of the comments that was repeated over & over in our tests was "inconsistent contact", which is true. I need to get Lily's teeth done, and Judy is going to let me try one of her Myler snaffles, to see if we can get Lily to reach for the bit and STAY THERE. I probably could've done better about trying to keep that contact during the tests, but I didn't even want to risk being in her face when she was doing so well at staying relaxed, especially since she'd been so jumpy the last couple of days leading up to the show. And our circles could've been more precise, but I kept focusing on where the letters were instead of on the shape of our circles, and I overshot the centerline at the end of each of the 3 tests! Grrrr! Oh well. We had fun and enjoyed ourselves, which was the most important thing. Judy was very happy with our performance too. I loved having her there; it's nice to have somebody who believes in you to guide you, and Judy is so calm and quiet herself that it helps you stay calm too. This show was a big deal all around: this was Judy's first time taking a student to a show since she moved from Michigan to South Florida, and it was my first time taking a horse of my own to a show. I've gone to multiple shows, just never riding a horse that actually belonged to me.
Initial warmup canter in the red arena


Yeah, she's moving downhill and I look like a huntseat rider, but she was nice and relaxed in thsi one. :)

Judy the Wonder Trainer and me with Lily

Ready to go into the arena for Intro B

Warming up in the field next to the dressage arena

Going around the arena for Intro C, while waiting for the bell from the judge

This is the video Charles took of test C, our best of the three. Direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv31XZkasLo



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