It’s been a few weeks now since I went to the show with Stubby and I finally have some time to write up a recap!
As I mentioned before, it was my 1st dressage show ever, my 1st horse show in about 12 years, and Stubby’s first show in about 8 years. Needless to say, we were both pretty rusty in all departments but overall it went pretty well!
My ride time was at 11:45 so I had time in the morning to get everything together and organized, god forbid I forget something at home. I was a pretty nervous nelly early that morning so I decided to bring a little umm…liquid courage with me, aka: OJ and Vodka, in hopes it would make me more relax. I hid that shit in my coffee cup and off we went to grab the red mare beast and my gear.
I was a little nervous about how Stubby would load since she really hasn’t been off the property in a while, let along a show, but she loaded like a champ and away we went! Stubs was a super good girl and stood nicely at the trailer nibbling on a hay net, whew! Seeing her be pretty calm and being good helped me relax a bit and I felt much less frantic. Though, right before I got on to warm up I totally pounded my “coffee”, because I’m not about to let a perfectly good drink go to waste. #thatsjusthowIdo
The warm-up ring was pretty bumpin’ as 1/2 of the ring was being used for a super beginner group lesson and the other 1/2 had 4 other horses warming up including us. Stubby refused to go to the far end of the arena that looked out over the freeway so I decided not to force the issue and just worked in the non scary part of the ring. Stubby was pretty distracted and didn’t really want to play/cooperate so I just focused on being consistent with my aids and keeping my little brain from exploding.
She was being very stiff and didn’t want to be soft at all despite my best efforts to supple her and bend off my leg. In the end, I remembered to just ride the horse I had that day and to stay an active rider. We didn’t do incessant circles but did different up and down transitions with some spiraling circles and periods of walking.
We did have one super big spook when she caught sight of a motorcycle buzzing down the freeway but its a good thing that I’ve gotten pretty ok at sitting Stubby’s spooks.
15 minutes before my test we walked over to the court and did a bit of warm up there before heading in. The covered arena at the venue is super spooky for some reason, so I’m glad we got to wander around in there before we started. My buddy Josie was there so she was able to read me my test (TL 1) just in case I forgot everything.
I’m not going to go over every single element of the test, but in the end:
- I didn’t die
- Didn’t get “bell-ed” out
- Didn’t go off test
- Got a decent score, 59%
It was definitely not the polished test I would have like to put down, but it is what it is. Stubby was stiff and hollow on several parts of the test, and I was obviously nervous, but we made the best of the experience and it gives us lots of stuff to work on for the next time. Our circles weren’t exactly circles and I picked up the wrong canter lead going to the right. But, we did have some good points! We had a lovely canter going to the left and our transitions were on time though Stubby was pretty hollow for most of them. The judges notes were very helpful and now I have a baseline to compare to. Hopefully next time I will be able to bring both Stubby and Spot!