Monday, April 8, 2013

Davis Derby Part 1

The UC Davis Derby (spring and fall) has been one of my favorite outings for my horses. So April rolled around and we all got busy about getting our horses out to a few jumping lessons to prep. I had been far more regular in my dressage lessons, so I had high hopes for that part.
This was our first outing in the new (used KN) dressage saddle, new bridle, and our second attempt at round fluffy rosette braids.
I felt pretty darn good going in! Good warm up, felt prepared, and unexpectedly our test started out with 6.5's, 7's, and I think even one 8.
Who would have thought that this thoroughly prepared and thoughtfully groomed horse/rider combo could do anything but a decent to above average test?
But then in the middle of our free walk we had huge spook sideways moment. I'm thinking at this point I probably made it worse. I usually do in tense situations!
We then had a terrible spook spin when we tried to pick up the canter, each time we tried to pick up the canter, and at least one halfhearted buck when I popped her with the whip.
 This was about where the score went 3, 3, 2, elimination. I kept right on riding, and thankfully the judge let me. 
Because despite Lola stopping to do a "half rear at x" where I thought we simply had a "trot M X K" we did manage to finish!

What I really wanted from this show was a reasonable idea how I would do on the BN dressage test, and elimination is not a score! Being a schooling show, I marched us right up to the check in desk and asked how we could make a do-over happen. Obviously that lovely elimination is what counted towards my BN derby score, but I just wanted another shot at the test to be sure she understood what her job was out there.
So we found ourselves out there again, after all the other tests, lovely braids gone, new dressage saddle in trailer, coat gone. We did the test over in our jumping get up (with a quick stripping of boots, vest, brest collar, and martingale).

The pictures aren't nearly as fun, but we got the job done. We left with a score and comments on a full test! Now we have a place to work from.
X halt salute isn't nearly as charming a picture on a wind-blown pony in jumping garb!
Oh well. Another learning experience, right? A few weeks later I had the fun of watching a few FEI horse totally lose their minds in the show arena. It was a moment, and then it was gone, each one continued with the test very well. There will always be a chance that these moments happen in the show ring, it will depend on how I learn to immediately let go of my emotions, and ride each next piece of the test how it needs to be ridden.

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