Tuesday, April 16, 2013

57% With Pictures!

You know you probably didn't ride a very good test when the judge's first comment is "Great smile".

A lot of things went wrong.  First, I was late getting off the farm.  So, when I got to the show, I rushed around getting tacked up and then rushed through my warm-up.  I didn't get Spider as supple and on the aids as I would have liked.

This is what a 5.0 flying change looks like, in case you were wondering what not to do.
Then, when I entered the ring, I rode poorly and that's all there is to it.  I lost a lot of points by just not getting to the letters.  Accuracy is a big part of the tests.  You may ride a brilliant movement, but if you don't hit the marks you're going to get dinged.

This is what a 4.0 looks like for a 10m circle in canter.  Note the lack of cantering.



I also allowed Spider to break in the 10m canter circles.  Not that I actually rode them as 10m, the judge pointed out that they were closer to 8m.  Oops.  I lost a lot of points there.  Plus, because he broke the canter we were all discomboobulated going into the flying changes.  Just poor riding on my part.

But, we did have some good moments!

This was a 7.0


This shoulder-in was a 6.5.

This medium canter was a 6.0
And there was one moment that I was really, really proud of.  As I came around the corner to do my extended canter, Spider stumbled and I lost my outside rein.  But, I knew I needed to do that extension.  So, I did it with no outside rein.



I gathered my outside rein while doing the extension.

If you look very carefully, you might be able to guess which curse-word I'm uttering.
I don't have a good photo of the full extension, but I got a 6.5!  And I'm really, really proud of that.

It's obvious from my position in the pictures that I'm tense.  That's not how I ride at home, and I'm sure my tension had a lot to do with our poor performance at this show.  I need to relax, let my leg drape down his side and sit up tall in the saddle.

Next Sunday we'll be doing a recognized show.  That's the real deal.  So, we need to put some polish on the work.  I need to get my head in the game during the warm-up.  I need to ride the test accurately. I need to relax.  

I'm going to keep my great smile, though.


27 comments:

  1. This is what I love about our dressage blogging community, when we post the good, the bad, and the ugly. We all have days like this where we aren't there mentally and don't do our horses justice. I'm glad you were able to keep your smile. Good job with that extended canter.

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  2. Shannon - you rock!

    This post is so awesome - because of your honesty and sense of humor, your desire to move forward - but mostly because you acknowledged the shortcomings of your ride, and never once did you blame your horse. RESPECT!

    Eagerly anticipating the results from you and Spider's next outing. (((♡♡♡)))

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    1. Thank you!

      It wasn't Spider's fault. I know he can do every one of those movements at home. I just need to get my shit together and do them at the show!

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  3. You know, given the low scores on the movements you posted, a 57% actually ends up being a really good score! It means you did a lot better than you're giving yourself credit for in many of the other movements. :) Thanks for sharing with us, and good luck at the rated show!

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    1. Other than the 5s and 4s that I posted, we ended up with mainly 6s. The Collective marks were very positive, with 6.5s for Rider Position and Harmony, 6s for everything else.

      We'll be channelling all these good luck thoughts in our rec show!

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  4. Thanks, Annette! I think that we can all learn a lot more from the ugly than we can from the good!

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  5. Still better than my first test with Ozzy! Our judge wrote, "Good job keeping him in the ring," and said, "You handled everything he threw at you really well." Too bad horses aren't supposed to 'throw' stuff at us in dressage.

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    1. In my last 3rd level test, I got the comment "out of control" more than once! This was a marked improvement!

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  6. I love this post!! 1) Because you are so funny and honest. and 2) because I can totally relate! :)

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    1. You have to keep your sense of humor when you're doing this!

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  7. Not a bad score at all!! Honest. You just need some more work on the details to bring the score up. Accuracy does make a big difference, and in the case of those circles certainly helps your horse actually canter all the way through...honest. *G*

    And the smile does make a big difference. Mostly because it shows you are having fun, and that's what it's all about.

    Congratulations on a better ride than you think.

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    1. Thanks, Jean! We're going to polish it up, and next time we're going to canter those 10m circles!

      I always have fun if I'm riding my horse, and I was really happy that the judge saw that, too!

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  8. Hey, being able to keep focus and keep riding whatever else is going on is (more than!) half the battle. Well done on that rein-free extension!

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    1. Thank you! I was really proud of it! I just need need to extend that relaxed "can do" attitude to the rest of the test!

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  9. Lots of good moments! We all have meh shows, but you will do better next time. And hey, my horse doesn't do changes at all so there is always that side of things :)

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    1. Changes are tricky! I now know that even if you buy a horse with a confirmed change, you can still screw it up! ;)

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  10. Omg you crack me up!!!

    Hey you didn't fall off so I call that a win!!!

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    1. Funny you should mention that... My first and foremost goal at any show is to not fall off! As long as I stay on my horse, it was a good show!

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  11. Hey you got out there and did it, and some of it went pretty well. I love the descriptions and the photos - it's great that you kept your perspective on all of it. Nothing wrong with room for improvement . . .

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    1. That's what I love about dressage, there's always room for improvement! It keeps it from getting boring.

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  12. You do have a nice smile in all the pics! I always have the most terrible look on my face in show photos :) You had some super moments!

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    1. Thanks! I try to have fun at shows, because I think it should be fun. Plus, I kind of hope my positive attitude rubs off on my horse!

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  13. That's a pretty good score for your first crack at Third, especially considering the circumstances! I wouldn't be able to pull a 57% at Third right now if I tried. You guys are just going to get better from here :)

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    1. Well, it's actually my second crack at 3rd, but the first one was during a hurricane and that doesn't count ;) I got a 54% the first time, and 57% the second time, if the trend continues I'll get a 60% at the show this weekend!

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  14. I would be very happy with a 57% at Third level and on the second try! I am sure that you will be ahead of the game just by getting to the show grounds earlier and not having to rush your warm up. I feel like every show I have every entered (with Harley at least), I had like 5 minutes to warm up. At home we walk for about ten before I even pick up the reins!

    I love the pictures and the fact that you are smiling! Spider is such a good boy.

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    1. I have a better plan for my warm up this time. I'm going to spend more time suppling and less time fussing with the movements! The movements are there, but not if he's tense!

      And I'm going to leave the house way early so I won't be rushed with tacking up! Spider only needs about 20 minutes to warm-up, but he gets stressed if I rush through tacking up.

      We'll be at the same farm for this show, so he should be more relaxed in general.

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  15. Hi Shannon,

    As always, I love your writing.

    Now that you have gotten your feet wet for the '13 show season, it can only get better! Considering this is your first show of the year, along with your stressful morning, I think you did fantastic! It is not easy riding a test when everything else is running smoothly, so both you and Spider deserve a pat on the back for handling it so well in spite of the hectic start. I reckon I would be over the moon to score a 57% for my first test.

    It is very encouraging to read your experiences. It makes me feel less alone in pursuing my love for dressage - the joys, the setbacks, the frustrations, the successes.. I do not have any dressage friends in my personal equine circle, and they do not quite understand how incredibly challenging it is. It is kind of like, "Oh I have been riding since I was 6. I could so do this like a breeze if I could be bothered to"

    All the best for the next show! Go For Blue!!!

    ps: Love the pictures! I think Spider is gorgeous, and OMG.. you look like you are 22!

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