Intro B -
I got to the show early and was able to lead Misty around the show arena. She wasn't spooky about anything but wasn't the best behaved - she was speed walking and ignored my requests to walk slower plus was whinnying at every horse that she saw. My mom came with me and we tried to get Misty somewhat respectably clean, but it was a losing battle. I got her all braided and then warmed up.
|Alas, we cannot halt on the bit.|
Misty requires a pretty long warm up right now. She starts off really resisting contact before settling down. Basically this is how it goes:
Me: Ok, put your head down and trot.
Misty: But I'm a llamaaaaa!
Me: No you're not. Put your head down.
Misty: Fine. But only for a second... Llama!
Me: Sigh. Please, put your head down.
Misty: Ok. [head is down, but starts trotting as fast as she can go] I'm a speedy horse! Look at me go! Zoom zoom.
Me: Come on, let's trot at a reasonable speed. Slow down.
Misty: I'm a speedy llama!
You get the picture. Eventually she settles down to a nice trot with her head where it should be.
The first test went well. Her halt was crooked and transitions not as smooth as they could have been but she listened well and didn't even bat an eye at the dressage arena or judges booth. She could have had more inside bend as well, but overall not bad. In this class out of 3 we placed second with a 63.125%.
Comments: "Not quite taking contact from behind. Show stretch and position to inside. More leg to hand. Flat circles. Nice elastic trot! Just ask more push over topline to steady head. Inner flexion helps." Basically that is exactly what I've been working on, it's nice when a judge reiterates what you've been thinking about!
Intro C -
The other rider scratched in front of us but we took our time warming up and practicing our canter transitions. I have a hard time getting my lower leg on her side to ask for transitions because she has such a small barrel but we made it work.
She was really good for this class. Better than I expected. She was prompt and polite about both canter transitions (minimal launching) and the downward transitions weren't too abrupt. She'll need to work on stretching down for the free walk, but was otherwise good. Only a few llama moments. I anticipated her halting with her butt to the right so I asked for the halt with my right heel in her side, but instead of halting straight she halted to the right then swung her butt to the left so we were still quite crooked. I had to giggle at that.
We were the only one in our class and we scored a 63.25%.
Comments:"Not quite through to bit. Circles a bit small. Attractive pair! Rider needs to use her fingers to supple horse's poll, especially to right and improve evenness and straightness."
Everyone loved Misty and commented on how cute and pretty she was. She was very well behaved with just standing around at the trailer too. A few people asked her breed and were surprised that she's all Paint/QH because "she has so much suspension in her trot". It was a great first outing and I think she's going to make a lovely dressage horse!
First Level Test 1 -
Jetta warmed up amazingly. I still don't know what got into my horse... She was super responsive to all requests - upward/downward transitions, bending, leg yields - you name it and her response was "Yes ma'am". I was weirded out.
|Love the engagement she shows here|
|A little bit of lengthening. If only I could look up!|
We ended up scoring a 66.724% and the best surprise of all - getting first place out of 5 horses! All the scores were really close and I felt like it was quite an even playing field. There two other TB's, an Andalusian and a Trakehner. I feel like I finally have a confirmed first level horse.
Comments: "Needs balance to create joint bending and suppleness. Harmonious partnership! Try saddle further back in dressage to improve balance and quality of gaits."
This is one of my favorite judges to ride under because she give positive constructive criticism.
First Level Test 2 -
Because our warm-up was so glorious, I opted to just let Jetta eat in the hour break in between our classes. She was good and attentive on everything I asked so I didn't want to jinx it and make her upset by asking too much. They ended up running 20 minutes behind schedule but Jetta was perfect about standing quietly ringside. Again, I wondered where my impatient Thoroughbred had gone...
|Lengthening - whee!|
This test also went AWESOME. Way, way better than last time we did it at the Championship. Especially for this being our second time showing this test. Our leg yields were actually not bad at all! The only big mistake we made is both the canter-trot transitions on X were late. One was three strides late and one was just one stride late. Oops!
|Best stretchy trot EVER|
We scored a 66.757% in this class and it was also really closely scored. The winner was a very pretty Friesian sport horse and we came in 4th out of 7, right in the middle of the pack. It was interesting because I watched my dressage/jumping trainer from high school ride her older TB and they looked GREAT. I thought they did quite well and didn't see any major flaws, but they still came in 6th. It was definitely a close class.
Comments: My favorite comment under Submission: "Obedient"! Who would have thunk it. Jetta was obedient. "Nice team! Try to improve basic gaits with suppling poll, half halts and more lateral bending."
Aaand, this was actually the FIRST time this judge has not commented on the test that my bit was too thin. For either horse since I used a Myler for both of them. Aha!
I love, love, love this show venue. They have a super nice indoor arena for warm up with sand and a super nice outdoor arena to show in with sand and recycled rubber footing. There's plenty of trailer parking and it's really close to my parent's house so I was able to bring out one horse at a time instead of making both horses stand there all day (four hour gap in between Misty and Jetta's rides!). The only downside was the ribbons... I've complained about simple ribbons before. Obviously any ribbon is fabulous to win, but I think dressage shows should spend a little bit extra to get nice rosettes that are personalized for their show. Especially when this is the ONLY show I've been to besides 4-H that doesn't give rosettes to their riders.
From the show manager's positions I know that ribbons are a big expense for the show and the goal is to make money, but when you pay $25 a ride, I think they can spend a few cents more and get rosettes. Especially because they ran out of their personalized ribbons so when I won our First Level Test 1 class... I got a generic blue ribbon. The kind you can get at the dollar store... I was kind of bummed we didn't get something that I could show off!
But that complaint aside, it was a fantastic show!