Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sister golden hair

I took a two year hiatus from showing, namely to figure out what I wanted to do, get re-organized and to figure out if we were cut out for the upper levels.

The weeks spent with JK proved we could hack the training, the two years allowed me to obtain transport, solid education and a new team, and all that was left was to enter to figure out whether or not we could still pull a test off.

We slipped off last weekend to Ohio for the first time since Pony Cup. Paxton, now called Majestic hosts a regular series of dressage shows throughout the year. 

The show itself was as small, laid back show, especially for a CDI* in a qualifying year. 15 CDI competitors and the majority of regulars from around the region. Despite the laid back nature of the show, the judge panel wasn't handing out any freebies. Very few people broke above 60 percent at second and above on Saturday and Sunday, and even the people who were regularly scoring well into the 60's and low 70's a few weeks ago were struggling with the panel.

The first day was done cold turkey with mistakes and we were properly hazed for it.

On our way up we hit a four car pile-up that held us for three hours, we didn't arrive until nine. This was coupled by high winds, torrential rain, thunder and hail. So no practice. Her being in heat didn't help. During second level she popped a change during the counter canter and in third level she broke after the extended canter.

The second day, we redeemed ourselves. She put in two solid consistent tests, despite slipping in and out of tension, that I'm extremely proud of. We broke the 60 percent barrier and managed to salvage a little bit of the goals I had set out for us. We ended well in the collectives. She earned no less than 7's on her gaits and 7's on harmony and impulsion. Sinari was also really consistent in her balance and I was consistent in my position.

I also need to obtain more wardrobe. Namely breeches, a few shirts and I need to take my jacket in to have a few inches shaved off.

Along the way, I finally figured out that showing is different from training. The idea and concept of preparing and entering the arena for a test instead of a session is something I'm still working to master. In the 10 years I've ridden the sport, I've maybe shown three to four seasons total and it shows.

In the end the summary is: good to be back, have some items to work on, we're going to make it.
This week, we're taking it a little easier, going to be hacking and galloping out on the fields until Thursday

In the meantime, yes, photos and video will be up as soon as I get to it. This weekend we're out of town again.

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