Things started out okay. We arrived at the show early, and Cupid seemed settled waiting at the trailer eating his hay. I tacked him up about half an hour before our scheduled ride time. He started out okay, a little quick but I figured he would settle down quickly as he has been. However he never really settled down. Perhaps because there was some crazy gray horse repeatedly rearing up in the warm up? Or the cooler weather? Or maybe because this is the first show we've done with 2 rings going so there were twice as many horses warming up, half of which were upper level horses doing all sorts of pirouettes and half passes and whatnot, making it more difficult to find room. Whatever it was, Cupid was hyper.
Our first test (Training 1) Cupid had his head in the air almost the entire time except at free walk, and of course I responded by getting into a half seat instead of sitting more deeply. It's a vicious cycle! Also I somehow thought we walked between C&H instead of at C, and couldn't remember which diagonal we do the free walk on but luckily guessed correctly at E. The full test is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qx7COXNA6kw. After our test I went back in the warm up and trotted about 10 more minutes until Cupid seemed a little more relaxed.
|Free walk - our signature move. Photo credit K. Farris|
We started our test, and when we halted I was waiting for the judge to salute back. I didn't see it and was unsure whether I should continue or not. I waited a few moments before proceeding. Things started out okay, if a bit quick and high headed still. I was trying to do better about sitting upright this time. We did our trot circle to the right, changed direction, and I was relieved when we got our left lead canter. Even though Cupid had his nose up in the air, he still relaxed a bit into the stretchy trot. We did our walk, the picked up the trot but then by H Cupid started cantering. I'm not sure if it's because that's where we canter earlier in the test and he was just trying to help, or he was just full of it. I got him back to the trot a few steps but he went back up to the canter in the circle at E! Oops. So we got a 3 and 4 for those sections. Then we were actually supposed to canter he spooked coming out of the corner and went several steps sideways. Then broke back to a trot right as we were finishing our circle, but I think the judge let that slide. Here it is in all it's glory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s5iy7u1Rjk
When we finished the judge called me over, and told me I forgot to salute in the beginning. I obviously intended to, but can't remember if I actually did or not and even from the video it's a bit dark and blurry so hard to tell. But I think I won't make that mistake again!
I was a little disappointed it was a bit of a regression from our last show, but I know progress won't always be linear. We just need to keep getting out there and gaining experience. Also it's good to know even if things don't go perfectly, it's not so bad. I would have been a nervous wreck trying to go over jumps with Cupid in this state of mind (even if I know he won't do anything terrible, just being quick to jumps scares me). Even though I'm still a terrible dressage rider at least it feels safe!
|Still love this horse!|