My favorite thing about moving Ruby up to training level this year is that I have much later ride times -- sleeping in FTW! My first ride Saturday wasn't until 11:20ish and then my second ride was after the lunch break around 1:40. Saturday morning I got up, did chores at the house, then headed over to ACS to bathe Ruby and load my tack. And by bathe Ruby, I mostly mean just rinse the worst of the dirt off her. Have I mentioned how much I LOVED just showing a bay this year? I do NOT miss all the bathing from last year with Topaz, although that's definitely in my future again with Cinna.
|Stretchy trot is her favorite!|
Something we only seem to struggle with in the show ring (versus at home schooling) is breaking gait at the canter. We also had some issues with it in lessons. I'm not sure if it's just a matter of increased tension in those situations? At any rate, in both our tests Saturday we had a break at the canter, which cost us points. I also have a nasty habit of riding counterbent frequently (probably due to my narcissistic left hand??). Obviously, also a major point drain. Our first test brought home a 63.696% and 2nd place. She picked up points with her excellent free walk (always a solid score for us), and we had some nice moments in the canter. We also had some moments where she was fussy in the bridle, and also some disorganized transitions -- my fault, I tend to get nervous in the show ring and ask frantically right at the letter instead of waiting for a good moment to ask between letters (which is the option at training level). I think the comments at the end summed up how I felt about the first test pretty well: some really nice moments developing correct connection, just inconsistent.
There were quite a few scratched rides so I was able to bump my second ride time up about half an hour (which was nice, because less time hanging around the show ground!). This test was a little rougher -- similar score (62.727%), but bringing home a white 4th place ribbon. This was where my inability to maintain correct bend in the show ring really kicked our butts points-wise, as well as some bad geometry. I am absolutely terrible at geometry in dressage tests, mostly because many of the arenas I ride in are smaller than 20m, so when I get in a real dressage court I'm like "OMG ALL THIS SPACE" and I ride horrible egg-shaped messes. I really need WAY more work with the exercise dressage instructor made us ride this summer with cones, but hindsight is always 20-20! We picked up points at the walk, since that is the one gait I can't fuck up too badly, but lots of comments about being counterbent and irregular circles.
|I asked for a nice photo of us. This is what I got. Thanks for worrying about ears, DH.....|
I would apologize for the overwhelming amount of trot photos, but she has a really fun trot and walk photos are boring (and our canter photos are hit or miss), so you get trot.
|Sometimes we look dressage-y!|