Back In The Ring

I’m back from my vacation, refreshed and ready to ride again. I’m working on an extensive Ireland blog, which may take me awhile as I go through photos, etc., so until then, I thought I’d write a little about the CDCTA evening dressage show in Warrenton I went to last night.

To be honest, I hadn’t really ridden through the entire tests I’d planned on riding, so in the end, they weren’t as polished as I’d hoped.

We started with second 1, which we’ve done several times before. We’ve been working hard on our simple changes at home, but I still can’t quite get them in the show ring, so those weren’t the best. I also struggle with sitting the medium trot and feel like I don’t have as strong a medium when I sit, so we lost a few points there.

Otherwise, he was fairly attentive and not too tense. He did try to jog before the first half turn on the haunches, which made it not-so-good, and then he pivoted a bit too much on the left turn and then tried to get tense in the free walk to medium walk. We got an 8 on the free walk though, which he’s totally capable of, but never quite earns.

We ended up with a 62.1%. I’d like to get that up to at least a 65%. I know we’re capable.

The second test we did was the second level rider test. It’s fairly complicated, but I wanted to try something different.

The first tough movements are shoulder-in to a travers on the centerline. The right shoulder-in was quite good and the haunches in were a good try, but I had to make sure I kept his shoulders on the centerline.

Next, we did a medium trot on the diagonal and had to show steps of collection over X, which according to my trainer is more like a fourth level movement. Since we don’t have a strong medium, it was tough to show enough of a difference there.

His half turn on the haunches were better in this test, but he bobbled a little in the free walk. When he gets tired or a little tense, he seems to bob his head, but he didn’t jig when I gathered him up (the movement was going left, finally after years of going right).

His simple changes again were just not quite there. He had a couple of decent ones, a couple where he trotted, maybe because I wasn’t collecting him enough or maybe because he was tired.

For whatever reason, the halts weren’t quite square from behind either, but at least he was straight. We scored a 74%.

So overall, it was good to get back in the ring and see myself on video. Now I know for this weekend at the Maryland Horse Trials II that I need to shorten my reins a bit and make sure I keep the impulsion.

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