Last weekend was my dressage show. It turned out being a very small, relaxed even… because only members of my barn came! I rode against two other adults, one of them the assistant trainer at my farm. I was a little nervous about my Intro C test, because of the canter work.
As it turns out, I had little to be concerned about.
I placed first in both of my classes, earning me the adult high point for the day. I had set a goal to score above a 5 on some of my movements. In a dressage test you have a list of things you must do, in a certain order. The judge scores you on how well these things are done, out of 10. Since it was my first dressage show, I figured a 5.5 or 6 on some things would really be a good starting point. At the end of the show you get your test back, with the judges scores and comments. I was quite shocked when I saw my first test and had nothing lower than a 6.5! This is a solid score, and there were a lot of 7s as well.
This was taken during my first test. Austin is on the bit, and round… and quite honestly I look pretty darn great. I need to relax my elbows a little bit, but otherwise we looked like superstars.
Our second test included cantering, which didn’t go terribly, but I did score some 5 and 5.5 in that test. The judge was very complimentary though and said that we were a “very capable pair” and just needed to work on bending at the canter and on Austin accepting contact (aka- accepting the reins being tighter). The really awesome thing about our second test is that we scored an 8 on one of our movements, which I wouldn’t have expected in a billion years.
It was a very successful day, and I know that the Intro C test that I did is where I need to stay until I start getting some higher scores on my canter work. I also have decided I kind of liked the dressage test and had a lot of fun doing it! My trainer is now calling me the “dressage queen”!
I’m hoping to start riding her horse Jimmy soon. He’s been out of commission with a leg injury since before Christmas, but he’s better now. She’s said I can try him and see what I think, and if I like him I can start competing on him. It would be really great… not that I don’t love Austin. He’s taken such good care of me and has helped me be incredibly successful. However, Jimmy is bigger (17 hands) which I will look better on, and he is also a little more capable of doing some of the things I would like to do as I progress.
I’ve loved getting back into things. It occurred to me the other night that I’ve only been back at this since November. In four months I’ve competed in several shows and I have a wall full of ribbons to show for it. I’m having a great time. I have so many photos of myself doing something I love so much, thanks to the awesome parents of my fellow show team members… and my trainer! I’m having a really fabulous time.