Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Dressage Queens For a Day

For the first time I actually rode in an actual dressage show! And had a ton of fun.

Dee and I have spent almost all winter focusing on dressage. This winter will forever be known as Dressage Bootcamp. Since Shimmer-E was taking Ritchie to a silver dressage show, I figured Dee and I should join her, especially since they also offered non-rated classes. Even better, we managed to convince the third musketeer that she needed to bring her pony and join us. For the first time in a long friendship all 3 of us showed at the same show.

We hauled down Saturday afternoon so we could school and bathe the ponies. As per usual, I warmed Ritchie up for Shimmer-E. The unusual part was he bucked me off. I was just walking him around the small ring and the first time we got to the judges table he spooked, reared and spun on his back legs and took of doing his version of bucking (no flying back legs but a giant amount of air time while humping his back). I came off right around X. I had two thoughts as this all went down. "Don't land on your bad foot" and "Shit, now there's going to be a loose stud in a busy arena". Thankfully I managed to land on the knee and shin of my bad leg, rather than the ankle and Ritchie headed right to Shimmer-E.

Double-duty Quick Wraps (I wore it all weekend)
After a solid lunge I got back on and schooled him in both rings before Shimmer-E mounted up and had a tense but successful ride. Since my leg was very sore I elected to just putter around on Dee. She remains Best Pony as she didn't put a foot out of place, no matter what happened (spooking horses and flapping pigeons didn't even rate a look).

I was super pumped to give her a bath. Her last bath was in September. As irritating as it is to have to use copious amounts of purple shampoo, it is rather satisfying to witness the transformation.

I had completely reasonable ride times that allowed me enough time to braid Ritchie, get on him for 5 minutes, watch her first test, braid Dee and then get on for my test.

I stuck with the minimal warm-up that served us so well last year. I was on for no more than 10 minutes before I went in. I mostly walked, did a few walk-trot transitions and did not canter.

We proceeded down centerline for T-1(and remembered the first halt!) and had our most relaxed test to date! I had a solid flat-footed walk. On the video (which my mother keeps forgetting to send me) you can see a mile wide grin on my face while we are walking. I didn't care what my score was, I was super happy with our ride.

The next test, T-2, was about an hour later so I put Dee in her stall to chill. The second tense felt more rushed and tense to me but was still light years ahead of anything from last year. (Except the stretchy trot circle, that was a hot mess).

I texted this to my dressage coach and my very reserved and proper Russian instructor sent me 3 exclamation points!
I was super pumped to find out we had scored 60.4% in T-1 and a 62.5% on T-2, earning us a second. The judge is traditionally a tough but fair critic so I was really pleased with our scores. And it didn't say 'tense' anywhere on our test, for the first time ever.

Look at how white those legs are!
The best part of the weekend was this picture though. Does it get any better than showing with your besties and everyone coming away super successful?
Favourite part of the weekend. Smiles, pretty ears and satin


  1. wooo congratulations !! also major props for those uber-white legs haha, Dee looks great!

  2. That is awesome!!! Good job! And Dee looks pristine.

  3. Congrats. You'll have to do a post on how you got her so white, she looks great!

  4. Magical ears! That is my favorite picture in the world too. <3 I hope your leg is feeling better and thank you again for everything you do!

  5. Yay congratulations!! Awesome work and glad to hear progress.