A Tale Of Two Shows

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve taken Oh So to two schooling dressage shows. We started with Morningside on Sept. 23, where we did First Level 2 and 3.

Unfortunately they were running behind, so I was probably on a bit too long, and it was hot! But he was OK with it and stayed quite calm. Luckily they were finished with the second ring by the time I went at the end of the day, so I was able to school in it before my test, which was really helpful for both of us.

Since I was the last ride of the day though, literally everyone was gone by the time I went in for my second test! It’s always something right? But he was extremely relaxed and rideable, so I was able to really go for it.

The judge really liked him, save for him being a bit behind the vertical at times. It’s hard for me to really feel that consistently unless I have someone on the ground or mirrors.

The judge was very impressed with how good he was despite all the horses being gone. We were literally the last trailer in the parking lot too!

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Jennifer Ashley Photography photo.
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Jennifer Ashley Photography photo.
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Jennifer Ashley Photography photo.

This past weekend we went to a new venue for me, Compass Rose Farm in Haymarket, and rode the same two tests. They had a nice outdoor warm up ring and a Coverall ring, then a bit of a walk to the actual outdoor competition ring, so that was another good test. He tends to build if he has to stop work and get to the competition ring. There was also not a lot of space around the arena, like at Morven, so he could have gotten right with no room to make a circle and bend and keep his back soft, but he didn’t.

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The ‘L’ judge was absolutely smitten with him, saying it was the best test she’d judged all day, if ever. I mean, we’re not exactly God’s gift to dressage, but I’ll take it! She said the thing she noticed the most was the harmony between us, which really meant a lot. As with many event horses, showing that harmony can be difficult at times!

Now I’m at Fair Hill for the weekend and looking towards the starter trial at Waredaca in a few weeks. We’ve had a couple of good jump and cross-country schoolings, so I’m feeling ready other than a little weak and painful in my right ankle, but that will get better with time.

I’m so excited to back in the show ring and to have some goals to work towards, and I think Oh So is too.

I had a lesson with Heidi last week before Compass Rose, and she had no complaints about any of our first level work, and I’m feeling a bit bored with it, so we’re going to push on with the second level work again now that we’re both fit enough.

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