Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Twin Rivers Schooling Show

Well it sure feels good to be back! This past weekend Dually and I had our first official outing of the year at the schooling show at Twin Rivers. We got to do a cross country school on Saturday with Gina and then a Prelim combined test on Sunday. Dually was absolutely fabulous during the cross country school, making all the prelim questions look simple, taking care of rusty me in a few places, and even handling some Intermediate questions with ease! It was really great to get out again, and lovely to gallop and let D blow off some steam after such a long time in the arena.
Sunday was the combined test, with Dually doing the Prelim. I had also signed up to do an extra intermediate dressage test, but hadn't seen a time for myself, and had even checked with the office and been told that they had had no record of me doing so, and so when I headed down to the warmup at 2pm it was for a nice half hour warmup before my 2:30 prelim dressage test. To my vast surprise, when I arrived I was informed that they had been waiting for me for some time to arrive to do my intermediate test! As I was the only one who had signed up to do so, the judge was waiting solely on me and was going to leave when I was done. It wasn't really the relaxed situation I had been hoping for! I was told to go warmup and come back to do my test so the judge could go home. I went out into the warmup, very aware that the judge and her scribe were standing there at the ropes watching and waiting for me! Needless to say, adding that to my already extant stress surrounding warmups did NOT lead to my best possible test preparation! I warmed up way too quickly, basically only giving Dually just enough time to get really lit up and wild before calling it and heading back over to the judge. We went into the arena and Dually was NUTS! It was one of the most out of control tests we've ever had, and the judge even laughed at us at the end. Not a great start! But then we were able to head back into the warm up and get actually unwound and then properly prepared for our prelim test, which was extremely relaxed and obedient. It was definitely good to notice how long it took to get Dually actually prepared: around 45 minutes, longer than I had initially scheduled for (thank goodness that ring was running super late!). The final product was a super steady test, certainly not brilliant by any means and lacking a lot of accuracy that will come later in the season as I can combine our newfound connection with actually practicing the movements of the test (!), but far more rideable and connected than I've been able to get in the ring in the past. We scored a 39, with very consistent marks reflecting the steady nature of the test, but some higher scores on the more accurate moves hinting at the possibility of better scores to come.
I quickly sponged Dually off and changed his tack to head back to the showjumping and walk the course. It was a very simple course, with a lot of longer bending lines. The jumps were fully up to height, though, and so was a good test for us as it was only one of two or three courses we've done at height so far this season (and the others were both in one lesson with Gina a few weeks ago!). Dually was one of last horses to jump, and went in and laid it down! He was foot perfect from the very first fence, jumping just as well as he did at Galway this past fall. What a good boy! Our next outing is scheduled to be at Twin in two weeks.

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