Monday, July 11, 2011


Since my performance at the last show was less than stellar, I decided I needed a do-over.  My do-over was yesterday, and I'm pleased to say that it was much better, although still not great.  I received a 60%.  My ultimate goal is to get my USDF Bronze Medal, and 60% is good enough to count towards that, so I am satisfied.

Still, it was not an ideal performance.  I was actually surprised at my score, I thought we had done much worse.  Spider was tense and sucked back behind my aids.  The entire ride felt forced and chaotic.  But, I guess that didn't show through in our ride as much as I thought it did.  A friend who was also showing that day even commented on how relaxed Spider seemed.  Ha!  He felt like a balloon full of rocket fuel and squirmy snakes.  I suppose that goes to show how different "look" and "feel" are.  The comments I received from the judge reflect the tension, although not in those words:

"more bend"
And her final remark: "Well suited pair, but often needs more secure connection and more organization throughout."

That sentence sums it up pretty succinctly.  I have no idea why Spider decided he just didn't want to be there that day.  I could argue that it was hot and buggy (he hates bugs), or that the warm up ring at that particular farm is an indoor (he hates indoors), or that he was just having a bad day.  That's the nature of equestrian sports: two animals who speak different languages have to get it together and perform 100% correctly, at the same time, on the spot with no second chances.  Some times you do this better than others.  I'm very proud that Spider held it together in spite of the fact that he was upset and performed for me well enough to get a 60%, though.  And he didn't do any flying lead changes, either.  He was a good boy!

Still no pictures, I was all by myself this time.  It's really quite difficult to take pictures of yourself riding!


  1. I think you and Spider did really well. You're so right about feel vs. look, only you know for sure how things are really going. Congratulations on your do over, it sounds much better than last time. You've got to recruit someone for pictures next time.

  2. Good job! You're on your way to a bronze medal!! It's my goal to but I can't seem to keep Jackson sound enough to progress. I'll just live vicariously through your rides.

  3. Congratulations on your improved performance! Sounds like the judge gave you fair and helpful comments. I'm sure you'll only improve as the season goes on. :)

    Love your description of Spider - a "balloon full of rocket fuel and squirmy snakes". Too funny!

    I agree with GHM - next time you need to recruit a photographer ;)

  4. Well done.

    Getting everything to work together at the right time is a daunting challenge. You've been out of the show mode for a while, so getting back into it all will take some patience and effort on your part.

    You've done a great job so far, as a 60+% is nothing to be disappointed about.

  5. Getting a chance to do the test again was was your score. The post below about using your corners is so true for many reasons. When you drive horses it also helps your score. I have never enjoyed riding in high heat and humidity...and give you a lot of credit. For years I was on the board of directors for the Western New York Dressage Association but never got into showing. Loved clinics and learning tho. Would love to have seen pictures of you and Spider.

  6. Congrats!! That's awesome. I'm glad you guys pulled it off. :)

  7. Maybe he's just tense because he hasn't showed for a long time and needs to get used to it again? Anyway, you guys did great. Congrats on being on your way to a bronze medal.

  8. Congratulations. You should still be proud of yourself and Spider!


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