Operation Bronze Medal: Partway There!

We’ve had crazy amounts of rain over the last week, and I was kind of glad I wasn’t entered at an event because there was no way we would have run.

But I didn’t really expect the brand new fancy all-weather rings at Morven Park to be unrideable on Saturday.

I’d entered the PVDA Spring Dressage Show, and had planned to do two first level tests on Saturday and two second level tests on Sunday to knock those scores out and start really working on the third level tests for my bronze medal.

Picsofyou.com photo

Continue reading “Operation Bronze Medal: Partway There!”

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.

Dusting off the cobwebs

I’ve had a busy, but productive couple of days this weekend. Yesterday, I went car shopping with my dad for something with better mileage. We ended up getting a cherry red 2008 Toyota Prius. I wasn’t crazy about getting a red car, but it’s growing on me. The 555009_10100874820908837_1991407405_ninterior was in great shape and it has a neat touchscreen in the center console with a backup camera and climate control. Yesterday as I drove to work, I was getting 45mpg, so I’d say that’s definitely an improvement over my Mustang. I was sad to see it go, since I’ve been driving Mustangs since I first got my license, but my wallet will be thanking me!

On Sunday, I woke up early to head to Fox Chase Farm in Middleburg, for our first dressage outing of the season. Oh So was actually quite calm in the warmup and when we went into the indoor for the actual tests, he stayed pretty steady.

The footing was quite wet and deep, but he was trying. We rode Second 1 and 2, and I knew going in that there were some parts that weren’t 100 percent confirmed. We’ve been having really lovely canter-walk transitions on a circle at home, but on a straight line, they’re not as good. I’m also still struggling with sitting the medium trot. We ended up with two 60% scores, which I was a little surprised at. I didn’t see any noticeable tension, except in our rein back, and we still scored mostly 5’s and 6’s, even on his canter work. Oh well. I wasn’t expecting miracles for our first time out. I was just happy he wasn’t tense.

This coming weekend will include a final jump lesson and a cross-country school before Southern Pines next weekend. It’s getting so close!

Please excuse the videos. There was a videocamera malfunction, so my dad used my iPhone, but then it ran out of space.

CDCTA Schooling Show At Warrenton Recap

I made it out to the last CDCTA schooling show at the Warrenton Horse Show grounds on Thursday night. I wanted to get Oh So back in the ring before Marlborough, but we did second level tests 1 and 2. I think the judge was quite generous, because we ended up with a 68 and 70%! She was very complimentary of him at the end of both tests, which was nice.

He’s been a bit tense on the flat this week, probably because he’s been doing it since I left for AECs.  I had to get my jump saddle stitched in a few places, so I haven’t jumped since the combined test. It took me awhile in the warm up to be able to sit the trot. His back was a bit tight, but when they ended up running a bit late, it gave me a few more minutes to work him. By the time I went in for my test, it was much better. The medium trots in sitting felt better than usual, but they didn’t look very good on the video. I haven’t been practicing  those enough at home.

With both tests, I knew there would be some parts that weren’t totally confirmed. We had a slight miscommunication in a couple of the canter-walk transitions where he almost halted because my leg wasn’t totally on, and the same in one of the walk pirouettes. He’s still a bit unsteady with his head in the walk-canter transitions, but he was fairly obedient. He was also less reactive when I brought my outside leg back for the traverse, and I was able to show a bit more angle this time out.

Overall, he was very obedient and gave me a lot to work with and practice on while riding through the tests.

Today we went out for some fitness work and I jumped a couple of cross-country jumps while I was there in preparation for Marlborough next weekend. I have a jump lesson tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes. I also wanted to put a link in here to Oh So’s pedigree. I was randomly looking at it the other day, and I’m not sure everyone out there has seen it. http://www.pedigreequery.com/private+pleasure2