Saturday, June 15, 2013

League Championship Day 1

Today was the first day of the league championship. In true "queen of least preparedness" (I think that should be my new title) I rode Jetta a grand total of three times in the week before the show due to the craziness that was finals.

Anyways, I got out to the barn and groomed Jetta within an inch of her life. Luckily she was super clean so I didn't have to bathe her, since being my normal lazy self I didn't do it the night before. Got her braided, tack cleaned and trailer loaded and we were off.

Jetta's ready to go!

This show was at the state fairgrounds. I've been there once before with Jazz but that was a long time ago. The arena footing was ok, but it seems like the norm for fairgrounds in general is "hard and full of rocks". Of course I got there early so I sat around for a while so that I wouldn't get on too early like usual. Luckily I brought plenty of hay for Jetta so she was happy.

I didn't realize this before the show, but the first day of the show you ride Test 2 of your level and then the next day you ride Test 3. So I entered Training and First Level thinking I was going to do Training 3 and First 2 but they changed it around on me. I have never ridden the second test before of either level. Good preparation, right?

Jetta warmed up fairly well. Ever since she had that week off when she hurt her knee we've taken a big step back in our training. I had finally gotten her to carry herself lightly on the forehand and not pull on the reins or rely on me to hold her up, but that has sort of disappeared recently. The last dressage show I was super happy with how she did, even though our scores didn't reflect that. Anyways, she wasn't too much of a freight train and actually was a little lazy off my leg.

The first test up was Training 2. We rode in the outdoor arena and I was happy to find that the footing was at least a little less rocky than warm up. We didn't even get a full circuit of the arena before the bell rang so Jetta was still a little looky when we started our test, especially since she wanted to watch all these people who were next door at a big convention.

The test went fairly well. She was a little braced in areas and popped her head up a couple times when she got disctracted, but I felt rather good about the effort which was good because I didn't feel so hot going into it.

Cute stuff chilling at the trailer

Jetta got a little bit of a break in between the classes, I went and found the videographer and signed up so we didn't have our first ride taped but the rest of them would be. I got our test back - a 65% and third out of six. I was pretty happy with the scoring, I thought the judge was accurate in all the movements. It's my first time riding under an "R" judge and she was quite nice I thought. I expected a lot harsher judging. Her final comment was "Nice horse with a bright future - get more impulsion for more expression." Which kind of made my day. Always nice when your horse gets such a nice compliment.

In the warm up for the next test I carried my dressage whip just to help with the leg yields and get her transitions a little crisper. Unfortunately I forgot my spurs (go figure) and whips weren't allowed in the championship class.  Definitely bringing the spurs for tomorrow.

Of course when I first looked at the First 2 test, my first thought was "Oh #@$%^. I don't know if we're ready for this..." But luckily I was able to remember the whole test, even though half way through I had a blank spot and almost had a panic attack before I remembered that we were supposed to do our stretchy trot (which sucked, but oh well). The test went quite well for doing it the first time ever at a show and adding in the leg yields. Surprisingly, while our right leg yield sucks at home and the left leg yield is good, at the show, the right leg yield went quite well, but the left leg yield sucked. She inverted throughout the whole movement and would not unlock her jaw and give to the bit. Bad pony.

I was quite happy with how she did overall and we scored a 62.027%. I thought it was pretty fair, though I had hoped to do better. We got fourth out of 5.  I need lessons SO BAD. I need to figure out how we get a better score on our lengthenings because I just do them too fast apparently and we need to show more length and less speed, so I'll try to be more reserved tomorrow. The comment for this test was "Need to be overall rounder to make scores go up. Horse has talent!" I really did like this judge! She was so nice and gave good comments on the movements which is always helpful.

I really do like how the First Level Test 2 flows though so I'm going to add it to our show "repetoire" for the rest of the summer. I like how you do the leg yields right before the canter transition, then the 15m canter circle before the lengthening it all sets up each movement nicely.

Overall, a pretty good day. Started off feeling rather lackluster but finished off well. Hopefully we can improve upon our scores tomorrow!


  1. Sounds like your doing well :-) How cool to have a judge say nice comments like that!!