Apologies for the length between updates. All of a sudden I have a horrible case of strep throat and am pretty much incapacitated!
I’ve tried to ride a bit this week but it’s been miserable with the humidity and the inability to breathe properly!
Last week I took Oh So to his first show since his injury nearly two years ago. We started small by going to Warrenton for the CDCTA Evening Dressage series and did First 2 and 3.
I didn’t have a ton of chance to practice the tests, so I was pretty much just trying to remember them! He hadn’t been out in about a month since he knocked himself/did something in the field. Unfortunately, that injury took two solid weeks to get better, but he got a clean bill of health at his last appointment, so all we can surmise is he twisted an ankle. Also unfortunately, that meant I lost two entries, including our supposed first event back at Loudoun.
So, I had no expectations going into the show, other than to maybe get a 65% on both tests. His warmup was decent, but I think maybe I should have worked on flexing him a bit more to the inside than I’m comfortable with to help keep some tension at bay. I’ve also gotten into the habit of straightening my elbows and carrying my hands low as a result of Bear’s shorter neck and the judge ended up dinging me on that with a 6.5 for the rider score on both tests. Ouch! I was totally clueless I was doing it of course!
The first test was just a bit yucky. He tensed up and I felt a bit rusty riding him in the big ring. He thought it would be fun to run off with me down the long side in lengthened canter and on the diagonals for changes of lead through canter.
The second test, shown above, was better as far as him listening to me. The simple change was still a bit rough and he was back to his old ways of trying to jig after the free walk going from left to right, so that was ugly. I didn’t go for it in the lengthened canters as much as I could have because I haven’t been schooling that at home and he wanted to run off and I was also a bit conservative in the lengthened trot. But the overall picture and connection was much more steady.
We ended up with a 64% on the first test and a 67% on the second test. Good enough for me! We’ve got a ways to go to be back where we were before his injury, but I feel like we’re on our way.
I’m just thrilled to have him back and I hope our next show will be a real event. I took him for a jump lesson on Sunday and it took a few fences, but we were back in a rhythm quickly and he was enjoying himself.
Bear has been going well too and we’re preparing for the unrecognized event at Loch Moy this weekend followed by Waredaca’s recognized event.
Ten days ago, I went to Jersey Fresh for a nice weekend of work. I love the event and would love to compete there some day in their horse trials.