Wednesday, May 10, 2017

KM Dressage Schooling Show - Training Level Test 1

Our first dressage show didn't go quite as planned, but it was a good learning experience.  Unfortunately we didn't arrive to the showgrounds until less than half an hour before our ride time!  So we quickly got Cupid off the trailer, my trainer tacked him up and my barnmate went to check us in and get our number while I got myself ready.  Luckily I was already wearing my show breeches and shirt under sweats!  Cupid was whinnying a little, I think confused why the other horse he traveled with wasn't coming to the arena.  He was looking around, but behaving.  We rushed through a quick warm up, barely having time to canter a few strides each direction before we had to go in the ring!

I tried to calm myself as we trotted around the outside of the 20x60 arena.  Cupid looked up at the judges booth but went by calmly.  We trotted in, I went down to a walk a few steps before X, and we had a decent halt.  We made it through the test, getting all the transitions and leads, but we were both tense.  I wasn't sitting back, but I did try to make sure I wasn't holding the reins too short.  Cupid got a tiny bit strong the second canter (to the right), but came back down to a trot.  Our final halt I thought was better then I expected.  Leaving the arena I was relieved it was over, but I wasn't totally happy.  I just wished we had a little more time to get settled.

We went back to the warm up ring to do a little schooling, and Cupid was settling down.  We did some 20 meter circles with a little shoulder in, then rode through a few squares at the trot and canter.  Cupid was softening and starting to reach for the bit a little.  I was also sitting up better.  I made a joke that I wish I could ride this horse in the test, and my trainer said maybe I can, let's see if there is a spot open for us to go again.  Be careful what you wish for!  I got nervous again, which did affect my riding. 

We rode our test a second time, much more relaxed.  We had one error where I let Cupid transition from the canter to a trot a marker early, and I decided to just keep going.  He was getting a little tired I think, though we didn't work that hard maybe it was just the nerves.  But overall I thought it was pretty good.
A few softer moments in the warm up ring
I was a little surprised that my scores were pretty similar for the two test, the second time being just over a point more.  I ended up just under 60%, which I was a little disappointed about I did want to get at least 60.  Most of the comments included "Obedient, but..." and then "above the bit" or "needs more stretch".  The rider comment was "hunt seat position", not surprising.  I shouldn't laugh but it was a little funny - my trainer said something about lunge line lessons.

Overall I was very happy with Cupid.  Even though he was nervous, I felt like he was trying hard to be good.  I think the judge saw that too, hence all the obedient comments.  We both need to learn to relax, but this was a good stepping stone.
Ready to go home!

1 comment:

  1. It's tough to be relaxed when you're rushed! BUT you went in and got the job done and that's the first step!!