I debated whether I should lunge Cupid when I got there on Saturday, and decided against it. Instead I let him eat hay at the trailer a bit, and got on him about half an hour before our first ride. And then instead of trying to tire him out in the warmup ring, I tried to put him on the outside rein. Yeah what a novel concept :p We started out walking, instead of just moseying on a long rein I was thinking stretching down. Then we shortened the reins and I asked him to come on the bit. Then we did a long trot set, mostly with me trying to plant my outside hand by his saddle pad and applying inside leg. We did just a bit of cantering each direction. We finished with some transitions and a bit more stretching.
Then we headed to the show ring, and put in what I felt was our best test to date. The contact/roundness was still a little inconsistent, it came and went a few times, but Cupid was definitely less giraffe-y then previously, and I thought our transitions were quite smooth. I came out of it feeling great!
We had about 45 minutes before our second test. We went back to the trailer, I took Cupid's bridle off and loosened his girth and gave him some water and let him eat a little. Since he was being so good I got back on about 15 minutes before our second test. We walked for a few minutes, then again trotted working on roundness, and finished with some walk-trot transitions (no cantering at all). The second test good as well, though the serpentines probably need a little more bend / showing change of bend. But I was really happy with Cupid!!
|Looking like a dressage horse!|
So after the disappointing scores, then losing power Saturday evening (and not getting it back for about 48 hours), and gusting winds on Sunday I had a bit of a pity party and debated whether I should even bother going back the next day. But I snapped out of it and got Cupid ready. Since it was already a reasonable hour, plus with the wind and traffic lights being out because of the stupid power outage I left extra early. Turns out there wasn't much traffic so we got to the show about 2 hours before my first ride time. During the lunch break I took Cupid over to the show ring and hand walked him around, trying to gauge how distracted he was by the wind. He seemed fine, though I wasn't sure that was still be the case when I got on him! The ring steward told me there were a bunch of scratches so I could go earlier if I wanted.
I warmed up similar to the day before. The warm up is in the covered arena, and I tried not to get distracted by the wind noise or looking outside seeing the wind getting stronger and stronger. There was one other horse and rider in the arena with me, and I heard her say she's scratching. I was starting to wonder if I would be crazy to try it. But... I was there so what the heck.
I ended up riding my two tests back to back. They were both fine - not quite as smooth as the previous day I thought, but it was just the things we're still working on the wind didn't really faze Cupid at all! We had one little hiccup in our second test, where Cupid kicked under himself in the canter transition then swapped leads, and a few moments with a little head twisting. But I was still really happy with him for keeping it together.
Again I was a bit surprised by our scores - a little over over 62% and 60% respectively! I was expecting upper 50s for sure. I think the judge maybe gave some extra points just for showing up. So it kind of made up for the previous day, but again, it did leave me a little confused not knowing what the actual expectation is, or wondering if my feel is just off. Part of me is disappointed we weren't able to finish the year at First level, but we've made a lot of progress and I'm excited to continue this dressage journey.
|When it's gusting 50mph and your competition decides to stay home|
|Canter still needs work, but I'm sitting up a bit better|
|Not all good though, lol|
|And that's a wrap, at least for rated shows in 2019|