Friday, September 25, 2015

Arabian Sport Horse Nationals 2015 - Day 1: Training Level Dressage

Whisper arrived at the show grounds with a huge lump of knotted muscles on both sides of her neck...
Can we do a long haul to a show without **something**?

A friend offered some reiki (sp?) and massage, which seemed to help!

Monday was a "settle in" day where we unloaded everything from the trailer and moved into the tack and dressing room stalls.  Those stalls would remain organized chaos for the remainder of the week...  In spite of our best intentions...

Reality hadn't sunk in, yet...

Tuesday, we rode our first dressage test, first thing in the morning, then had all day to school the jumps in the jumper ring.  It was looking like madness in that area, so I decided to wait until everyone was headed into their Sport Horse Under Saddle classes to school at the last minute.  It turned out to be a great plan for me.  We didn't need much schooling.  The Fancy Pony didn't look at anything except this big, airy oxer (which must have been set at something like 3'3" based on what we jumped the rest of the week), but once she got a good look at it, she happily hopped on over it without any more hesitation!

Note to self: start walking around and sizing up the jumps before mounting up - your eye has changed and the bigger jumps don't look huge anymore...
Poor pony...

I thought we'd had a really nice dressage test, but when we finally got our tests (the next morning) it was obvious the judges were not impressed with our performance.

I'm finally putting my finger on the block in my dressage. When Whisper *offers* to come through, I feel like we can do amazing things!  We have established "submission", but I'm still struggling with this consistent contact.  I don't have a way to get her to 'give me her back' if she isn't offering it.
On one test, the judge kept saying she was above the bit, then, on my stretchy trot circle, wrote "this is where you should be for the rest of your test."  YIKES!

I'm sure the knotted neck muscles didn't help...
We tried to make is an early night so that we could meet the braider at stupid-dark-thirty...  For the first time in my life, I was paying for braids, and I wanted to glean any and all tricks that I could!!


  1. bummer the judges didn't agree about your test - glad you were happy with it tho!!!

    1. We continually improve, but we obviously weren't in the same league as our competition, this time. That's ok, though, because we now know exactly what to keep working on for next time!

  2. Ah, tough about the dressage tests, but at least now you know what to work on!!



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