Friday, September 23, 2016

Championships Day 2, 9/16: First Steps in the Ring

We left off with a nervous Jan tucking Penn in for the night. I shouldn't have worried much, when we arrived the following morning he was very chill. He had laid down in the night, ate half of his hay, all of his alfalfa, had drank a bucket of water, and pooped and peed plenty. He was back to peeing normally. I was so excited that he seemed just fine that my husband was like, you're being extra horsey-weird. Strange things make horse people happy, you know?

View from the chairs in the tack stall.
Ridiculous cuteness. He looks like a pony.
I went over to his stall to give him a bath and braid him... and then found something else to do because he was so cute!
After he got up and got his bath. It was actually a little cool Friday morning, so I covered him up with my BOT mesh sheet to take him outside to dry. He loved that bottle- he'd drop it and pick it up again.

The morning was uneventful. I signed up for pictures, Penn got a bath, graze time, then braided. The photographer had an excellent deal going on- a link to download all of your pictures for $100. That's one of the better deals I've found. He was quick in getting the links emailed to us as well, and he uses SmugMug to do prints (my husband used them as well). His people took a number of excellent pictures- I may see about having Smug Mug do proper prints for a couple of them.

First 2:

I got on about 20min before my first ride at 1:57 pm, which wasn't quite enough time. Penn was VERY dull feeling. Not lazy per se, but tired and wanted to lay in my hand again. I needed a little more time to get him jazzed up.

Warming up.

Everything was a bit of a struggle to get done in this test. My head wasn't in the game for it because I haven't been preparing First 2 all that much. I use the leg yields to warm up and that's about it. I had a huge brain fart during it and mostly just went through the motions, accuracy be damned (like the final canter/trot transition- I forgot it was at M, not C). I wasn't planning on riding this test at this show, however I needed to ride two First Level tests on Friday (in addition to 1-3 on Saturday) to be eligible for the dressage division championships.

65.469% - 5th out of 10

All the comments were right on, more power needed. Yupp. But you can tell the quality of horses and riders who were showing this weekend- a 65.4% only put us halfway in the pack.

And here's an obscene number of pictures. The photographer managed to grab every good moment! The pictures are courtesy of High Time Photography. They came to me with watermarks, but unedited, so when I cropped them, I sometimes cropped out the watermark... I guess I should have put the watermark back on... but I'm telling you all where the pics came from instead!

First 3:

My second test was at 3:20pm, so an awkward amount of time later, I tacked up and went back over to the non-championship rings to warm up.

Warm up area for my second test.

I wasn't all that happy to warm up in an indoor/covered arena then go outside to show. That doesn't work well at home, why would it ever work well at a show? Penn is usually gawky in the indoor, then tense in the outdoor. To make matters worse, my ring was running behind so they decided to catch up during the water/drag break... they sprayed water into the ring instead of driving over it and evenly watering, then they opted not to drag afterwards... which left puddles in the places where 4 hours worth of test riding created ruts and tracks. They told me they were going to do that when I checked in, and I was like "No problem!" I used to event, the footing isn't perfect. Well Penn does not share my mindset. He likes perfect footing. Coming out of the indoor to show outside, where you can see/hear the highway traffic, and have puddles in the ring? Way too much atmosphere to put together a solid test.

Really not trying to make excuses here but there was extra water on centerline (so wiggly centerline), then there was a puddle at H... which basically messed up each movement near H. Also, I guess I botched the correction for when he lead flopped on me? I know I got lost in it, I went to go to walk and canter from walk like I do at home, but then I changed my mind since that's not part of this test... oh well, a 3 on that loop. Oops. Another interesting thing, the ring next to me was using a squeaky toy as their bell.

62.941% - 7th out of 10

This test was just a bit of a mess, sooooo I guess I earned that 62%!

More pictures, courtesy of High Time Photography.


After we put Penn away, Husband and I went to the Colosseum to watch the more advanced tests. I think there were musical freestyles going on, but I don't remember what level. The Friday night Sale Exhibition was after and that was kind of fun too since there was a pair of cremello Morgans featured.

Pretty mares! They got a 75% on their Pas De Deux

Penn went for a graze near Saturday's show ring before Husband and I went to dinner.

While we were out on our Friday Evening Graze, Husband realized Dressage is kind of scientific: We have Silicon, Mercury, Carbon, and Magnesium, right there on the letters!
I may have sat in the judges booth and let Penn graze right up next to it, haha.

Husband and I had excellent steak dinners from the place across the street from the show grounds. We went to Tractor Supply before dinner and got a bag of bedding for the trailer (and had to sneak it into the show grounds under the cover of darkness because foreign bedding is forbidden), a bag of alfalfa cubes, another bucket, and a bucket strap. I'd been putting the alfalfa on the floor of the stall where it would get wasted, and he often would have some left when I put it in his feed bucket, so I got him a designated alfalfa bucket.

Tucking him in for the night was uneventful. He was much more settled when we left Friday night than he was Thursday night.

Next up, Day 3: Round two in the ring!


  1. Puddles=death sometimes. He was just trying to keep you alive. :)

    1. He should trust me on the puddle thing. We won't die ;) I figure that will come with time, and creeks.

  2. I like that even your less spectacular tests are still in the 60s. :-) Well done.

    1. Haha. I am pleased that we can oops and still be in the 60s. I say that's a horse solid at the level. Time to move on!

  3. Those are a lot of really fabulous pictures!

    1. I couldn't believe the number of fabulous pictures of that test. I felt bad loading them all on here, but I couldn't choose just one of each movement, sooooo... they all got loaded! I think I am going to pick one or two to develop from Smug Mug so the watermark is either gone or at least not awkwardly cut off.

  4. Great pictures. The canter in the first test is so uphill! Good job.

    1. Thanks! His canter work all weekend was very good, except for the second test on day 1. Just wait until you see Sunday's canter! I'm still drooling over it.

  5. Those pictures are lovely! Frame worthy for sure :) I'm excited to hear about day 3!

    1. I love them! I'm so happy I got the package deal that I did.

  6. Wow the photographer caught great moments!!! Penn is just so stinking cute I can't get over it!!! Congrats on getting some fabulous scores despite not loving your tests. Can't wait to read more!!!

    1. They sure did! I also may have spent a stupid long time smooching Penn's nose at this show because he's so cute... and he loved every minute of it haha. I think I do that a lot to be honest!