Monday, August 9, 2010

Tests 1-4

Well I made it! I actually remembered my tests which is sort of amazing because I seriously thought I might have a problem.

I couldn't remember my tests for crap.

I'd get on my horse to practice and my mind would just go blank... nothing but white noise... "sorry, you cannot access that file at this time" sort of thing.

The fact I remembered them without having a reader is a feat all unto itself! Yay brain!
Test 1 was my best test. The judge liked me here....

My tests ever after were not as good. I know my faults and weaknesses...
Sera could always be more forward. She has an evasion of sucking back and her head tick tocks back and forth... she is not fully committed to the bridle - isn't forward enough. This issue used to be much more prevalent so we are making progress in this area even tho' it rears it's ugly head in a test when I am nervous.
Her free walks sort of suck... she doesn't go nice and long and low like she is supposed to. We work on these at home and even at home they aren't as long and deep as we'd like. She has a natural high carriage of her head... but with show nerves and my ass clamped like a vice on her back, I'm sure it's not very encouraging to relax, lower her neck and stretch/round her back.
She can always be more uphill, more round, more forward, more swinging through her back.

The judge really hated my turn on the haunches. This was the only comment that surprised me. Most things on a test you should sort of know where you need work and the judge comments shouldn't be a big eye-opener.
The turn on the haunches was a big head scratcher for me.
We've been working on them and I've been told both by my trainer and the people I clinic with that they are good. This is an area I need to address to make sure I fully understand. There seems to be ... what you might call ... a failure to communicate.

The 4th test after our medium canter my mind went completely white. It was like a snowstorm... I had NO idea where to go next.
I brought her back, rounded through the short side and then it hit me...
"D'oh! I was supposed to go down the centerline!"
I circled around and took the centerline... I was a bit flustered and overshot the 10 meter circle at I... but the rest of the test came right back. "Shew!"
Guess that file needed a little more time to download.

There was a chestnut mare showing in Adult Amateur whose scores were always higher than Sera's. There were sale sheets posted around for her. She is a 13 yr old Selle Francais mare with a description that could have fit my mare. She loads, clips, stands for the vet/farrier, showing Second Level, working on Third... $29,000.00.
I showed in the open classes, not against the mare for sale who kept getting better scores. I still got 3 blue ribbons, 1 red. If Sera had to be beaten, at least it was by a fancy, 'spensive horse!
My little red-headed mule cost me $1/lb as a TB race track reject. Grin.
Pix and possible video to follow... video is on someone elses recorder and I have to figure out how to get them.
Overall, it was a great time. I'm very happy with my scores having NEVER shown Second Level before and Sera has never been shown at Second Level before. She was a star. She got out and just did her job. Good, good mare.


DebH said...

well I thought about you several times this last weekend!! So Happy you and Sera did well, really that is quite impressive and you should be very proud of yourself! I love the part on beating a $29,000.00 mare and most likely she rode in a $100,000.00 trailer. Don't you love driving up in your normal truck and trailer and still performing very well? What fun and I sure hope you can get those videos up...I would LOVE to see !!!

Shanster said...

DebH - Thank-you! I could just feel all your positive energy once I crossed into Wy this weekend! Well the $29K horse beat us but not by much so it's all good. Yes, it does make me happy to have my modest means come up that well against the bigger fish for sho'!

Heather said...

Woo! Way to go! Did you get a chance to talk to the judge about what would make you TOH better? Sounds like you had a great show! Congrats! Can't wait for video! Not sure if you have editing software, but I saw a vid recently that had the scores and judges comments at the bottom of the screen during the movements! Very neat!

Shanster said...

No, I didn't get a chance to have any sort of real discussion with the judge. There was no opportunity to do so.

She was giving a clinic the monday after the show and that would have been WAY cool but time, day job and $... sigh.

We have it video'd to watch and discuss. Another student of Rex's was there competing at 2nd level and her TOH comments were no better!

I was surprised because Debbie - the woman I clinic with - is a judge with a keen eye and does not sugar coat. She has liked our progress with it and said they were good. So I remain confused until my next lesson and video review...

This judge is classically trained and works closely with the woman who trained my trainer - also classically trained ... so there shouldn't be a big difference. ? It is a mystery.

Anonymous said...

Whoopee!!! Great job!!! Yah, for red-headed horses and good days at the dressage show. Dang y'all clean up nice!!!! :D

My goals at shows were always, stay in the ring, good, if you remember the test great, if you don't but you remember before getting whistled out then heck, it's a good day at the show!!! Maybe I need to raise my standards a bit?

Looking forward to the video and very proud of you and Sera, it's great to place well, but when you place over or near those really really expensive horse then life just gets all that much better. Yah for you!!!!

Cheryl said...

Wow, four ribbons!!! That's awesome!!! I hope Sera knows what a champion she is!

Shanster said...

mommyrides - Thanks! I like to completely relax when I don't need to be "cleaned up"! Makes the difference that much more dramatic... grin.

My goal mostly is just to remember my test! I probably need to start "riding" more and being more "aggressive" in my tests. I always feel so relieved when I've actually made it through... She did a really great job for me.

The first time at this show a few years ago, she did back out of the arena and I got comments from the judge of "very NAUGHTY horse"... so we have come a loooong way.

I used to be scared of Sera too! I'm not anymore at all and I really hope and think I will have the same relationship with Rosso one day... maybe it's a rite of passage I have to go thru with each horse or something?? My personality trait??

Tho I never came off Sera so my fear wasn't as strong with her... I do remember for a while really dragging my feet every time I went to ride her -- just didnt' want to.

Now I have so much fun with her so you and I will keep at it and look for the great times with the horses givin' us some trouble currently! It'll happen.

geez... long winded today or what?

Cheryl - I think she looked quite pleased with herself and I told her what a great girl she is!