I don't normally pay for night check. I think you should make an effort to be there for your horse bright and early so he's not being ignored as other people do morning chores, etc. I did night check for the second night of the show- Husband barely got any sleep Friday night and hates when I drag him to the shows early to just wait around (even though he gets that I'm there for the pony). All of the horses around us had night check, and they were all getting their breakfast at 7am... Penn was a bit lethargic by the end of Saturday too, so I'd rather someone checked on him all night.
It was wonderful not having to be there at 7:30 or 8 to feed and water the horse. Sigh. Husband appreciated it too, (and we like Husband so I try to keep him happy at horse shows). When we arrived, I grabbed Penn from his stall to walk him up to the food truck where Husband was ordering breakfast. I watched some of the FEI tests while Penn grazed for over an hour.
One of the nice things about this weekend was being able to mend fences between me and someone who used to be a good friend (we will call her E). She had a falling out within our horsey circle, left the barn, and moved to a new group of people. She rides and boards with Dressage Trainer now, so we run into each other at some shows and simply say "Hi, how are you" etc. Dressage Trainer had major vehicle issues trying to get to this show (first with another horse, then just with her car), so E ended up doing Friday's schooling and Saturday's show on her own (in kind of a panic). I ran into them Saturday and asked how things were going, and everyone looked a little frazzled and E said she was nervous since she didn't have a reader or Dressage Trainer. I immediately said, I can read for you. We had a lovely chat after, and I agreed to read for her again Sunday morning. I spent Sunday morning reviving old friendships, and it was wonderful! Dressage Trainer made it up Sunday morning to coach E and another rider, and E had a great ride, won her class, and finished qualifying for First Level AA Championships (so we'll be competing against each other come September!).
After helping out E, I went back to Penn and brushed him, and cleaned a little tack before it eventually was time to get dressed and warm up (boo 1:27pm ride times!). I had a plan for the turn on the haunches and I set aside most of my warm up in the indoor to work on those- attempting to keep the hind legs super active got him really jazzed up and he felt really super in the trot and canter after. I don't think I actually helped the turn on the haunches, but the work DID help the rest of the work! I took him to the outside warm up (which was small and had 3 rings worth of horses warming up in it), with 10 minutes to go and touched on a couple things out there.
I decided to ride this test like I was on a mission: to ride the snot out of it!
Husband could hear ladies behind him talking about how Penn was their new favorite horse, how his second change was very expressive etc. I'm sad that didn't make it into the sound of the video! I also didn't realize the the judge to the left of the camera yelled at her next rider for riding too close to my ring while I was in it. I didn't even notice her riding close to my ring at the time... focus!
The left lateral work was meh, the SI was much improved but I was having a discussion with Penn about the half pass. I was super happy with the lateral work right. I made a decision to ride the SI both directions with much more angle than 3 tracks because in my schooling show test, and Saturday's test, both judges said the SI needs more angle/bend. It paid off in a 6.5 and 7 for each SI, and the left might have been a 7 too if I had managed to not make him fussy.
|Rocking the shoulder-in right.|
|The half passes from L-M and L-H are literally the worst half passes ever. I hate them. I made this one my bitch though! GP Trainer's advice on keeping the shoulder on the line is the best ever for my brain!|
The medium trot was better than the day before, but I donno if it was a 7... the halt/rein back was a bit better too. Our TOH still sucked, especially since I picked at the second one so hard. When I was riding the test I was like, "If we don't get a 60, this right here is why!"
The canter work was wonderful. Penn absolutely bounded out onto the medium and extended canters. I got marked down for not making the transitions clearer at the end of each- I was just happy to stop booking it! Our 10m circles are struggling since we use them to build strength and so they're not really "show quality", but I should also keep my outside leg on him so his haunches don't swing out. The flying changes were each one stride late (and WTF, I'm pulling so hard on his inside rein), so I have no idea what this judge was looking at- she gave both a 7. The extended trot was lacking (Penn was out of gas), and the final centerline was a bit of a struggle (there was a lot of "JUST ONE MORE STEP!" thoughts). I was thrilled with this test though.
I put Penn away and hosed him off, and Husband I went to the barn lounge so I could change out of show clothes. On the way we stopped in front of a big industrial fan and I checked the online scores at that time... 65.758%! I jumped up and down and squeed in the aisle, much to the dismay of the hunter boarders #noshame. Not only did we get above a 60, but we knocked my expectations out of the park! I took a screenshot of the online score and sent it to GP trainer with the text "!!!!!!!!!!!!" To which she answered, "Are you now a bronze medalist?!" and I had to say "No, we need to work on turn on the haunches next weekend." lol!
I scurried off to change my clothes, then we went over to pick up my test and first place ribbon... I glanced over the rest of the scores in the class, then the rest of the scores at Third Level... It looked like I had the highest scoring AA Third Level test of the day, so I went back to the secretary and was like... so how's the Third Level AA Championship look? (I didn't know how the Saturday scores looked - the high point awards were for both days of showing, not just Saturday's show or Sunday's show)
|FUCK YEA! You go, baby horse!|
They were about to hand me my ribbon and such when the one lady was like, WAIT! She won the scholarship too.
The Third Level AA High Point award also comes with the Kathy Beck Memorial Scholarship in memory of one of NODA's riders, courtesy of her husband. $150 towards any lesson or clinic, and a memorial picture frame. Since this was a special award, they asked if I could get dressed again (just coat and helmet) and come get a picture. I said, how about I bring the horse? He's excellent at posing. They said, OK sure, see you in ten?
Thank goodness I had changed into my FITS tights and not shorts! I was able to slip my white breeches over my tights, and my stock tie and jacket over my shirt. Husband wiped off my boots while I wiped off Penn's bridle. The lady who came to take our picture was amazed at how nicely Penn posed and asked Husband to send one of his pictures (he took the above one with his nice camera) if they turned out well (they did). We got to chatting about Penn a little bit and I said I'd only had him for 2 years and this was his first recognized show at Third and I got him as an intro horse, etc. She was like, "You should write about that - Intro to Third in Two Years - and we'll put it in the newsletter!" I'm pretty sure I agreed because the thing is mostly written, except it's 2 Word pages long without pictures and I'm pretty sure that's too long for the newsletter. It'll make an appearance on the blog eventually here.
|I'll print the head shot of the two of us and maybe take it to work! Penn isn't actually featured on my desk, and Mikey is!|
Husband and I put Penn and my show clothes away, got a snack, and then packed up to go home. It was interesting to say the least trying to get the trailer packed while everyone else at the show was trying to do the same thing! We eventually got it worked out (and I biffed it in the aisle by rolling my ankle because I was in a hurry to stop blocking traffic), and headed home after a VERY successful weekend!
|Penn is starting a dangerous tradition- Champion at his first second level show, Champion at his first third level show!|
He was also the highest scoring Third Level test of the weekend, not just Jr/AA/Open. Squeeeeee!
|Also note he's sporting his new bling, the ombre Topline Leather browband which is named after him!|
I was hoping to finish my bronze this past weekend, but I'll certainly settle for a 65+%! It's higher than any of my Second and Third Level recognized scores! We'll hit up both days at Loch Moy Labor Day weekend and hopefully finish it then!