Thursday, November 7, 2013

Well, It Wasn't The Lowest Score I've Ever Gotten....

It was the second lowest score I've ever gotten in a dressage test.

It was the lowest score I've ever gotten at 3rd Level, so I broke a personal record there. 

I'm talking, of course, about the USEF show I competed in last Sunday. Spider and I did not do our best work, but we went out and did it and we own our mistakes. 

And, oh boy(!) were there mistakes!  We competed at Third Level, Test 1. My first mistake was starting my warm-up too early. My second mistake was to stop riding my horse as soon as I entered the ring. I had a tired horse that I wasn't riding, and we were doomed....

We ended up with a 50%, and we earned it. The judge was fair. My half-passes stunk and the changes were worse.  My only complaint was that she called an error when we didn't do a flying change in the correct place. Judges will sometimes do that to help your score if the missed movement affects the following movement (like a flying change in the wrong place). But, honestly, by that point in the ride there was no saving us.  I wish she had just let us go on our merry, crappy way.

She did say he was an attractive horse, though.  So, I guess we have that going for us....

We have the whole winter to fix everything.  Step One is going to be building up both of our fitness levels.  Step two is going to be getting Spider to do his changes when and where I ask him to, rather than wherever he feels like it.  

For Step One, I've been riding Spider for 40 minutes straight, without our usual frequent breaks.  I'm also going to start jumping once a week.  For myself, I've upped my own workout routine and plan to add some sort of aerobics.  I don't know what kind of aerobics, because I hate aerobics, but I'm sure I'll think of something.

Step Two is a post unto itself......


  1. At least you know where the score came from. :-) Now you know what to work on.

  2. Congratulations - you went to a USDF show and competed at third level. Now you have your winter work plan - sounds like success to me. Good for you guys! And Spider is a very attractive horse :)

  3. I'd say showing Third at a rated show is a darn good accomplishment! We all have things to work on. Sometimes things just go to crap in the ring. Argh. Dressage.

  4. You went to a rated show and rode third level: you rock!

    I think that it is just so tough when you are doing things mostly on your own. I commend you for persevering. It really is about the journey.

    I am excited about step two...

  5. That's what I love about rated shows; you can get the largest pie of humble pie ever! I scored a 48% at a California Dressage Society (CDS) rated show this year; that was pretty humiliating. :0)

    Better to know why you missed the mark than to put forth a solid effort and get a crap score. Onward and forward! :0)

    1. BTW, I'm a steady reader, but not a good commenter. ;0)

  6. You will get there on your talented beautiful horse. I'm with you on aerobics. Ugh.

  7. Had a world class trainer years ago comment to me in a clinic, "So how long is a dressage test? 8 minutes or so? Why keep your horse working hard for much longer when you are training. Give him a break and then ask again." It makes sense as it's kind of like interval training where you work hard for a bit, take a break, then work again.

    Another top trainer liked the idea of four minute gallops for all his dressage horses. He said it encouraged forwardness and helped them build up stamina.

    When I used the techniques, I think it paid off. My horses were fit and did not seem to get tired at a competition.

    I actually earned below 50% myself, so don't feel too bad about it. Sometimes, it's just impossible to put in that good dream ride after you enter at "A." And now you have a new leg of your own to use, so there's no place to go but up!!*S*

  8. Good for you for showing third level in the first place. What I like about riding is there is always something to work on so it never gets boring. Hate aerobic too.


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