I have now shown at Davis for four years, in hunt seat, western, and now dressage. And, in all those four years, I had never won a single class. I have had some interesting draws, but more often have just ridden poorly for whatever reason or another, and so my trips to Davis have developed into something of a mental block. This past weekend was my last Davis show of my entire college career/life, and so I was really hoping that, for once, I could turn the tide.
(Warming up on 'Spiffi'... it's not clear what I'm cranking my head around so far to look at, but no matter)
And, I did! For the first time in four years and three disciplines, I walked away from Davis with a blue ribbon. Wahoo! It was the closest win I've had in IDA yet, with me and a girl from Davis ending on the same score and me only being declared the winner because my collective marks were higher, but I'll take it.
(Spiffi looking relaxed in the 10m trot circle)
I drew a horse named Spiffi, who was a little tough in the contact/impulsion ratio (as in, the motor quickly starts to die as you try to gather the reins, and attempts to remedy this initially led to some hopping and general transmission issues). But, he had a great attitude and really nice gaits once we figured each other out a little bit. By the end of our 10 minute warmup I knew that we probably wouldn't produce a brilliant test, but I was pretty confident that I was getting the most out of the horse that I possibly could (which is all you can ask for, right?).
In the actual test, I was proud of myself for making very few real mistakes. My first medium trot was rushed, which was my fault, and I could have gone deeper into all my corners. But there were no missed transitions, late figures, or square circles as there have been in the past. The counter canter had been a struggle in warmup so I purposefully was extremely conservative there, but made up for it by taking a big risk in both of the medium canters (which in this test, First level Test 3, are double weighted!), for which I was rewarded with '8's and the comment: "Bold!" I've gotten this exact same comment on a few tests in a row with Ringo now too; maybe medium canter is becoming my speciality, haha.
(Good by, Spiffi! What a champ!)
Overall, it was one of the most satisfying feelings I've had in IDA yet when I made my final halt and salute. I took a moment to reflect back over the four years of showing I've had at Davis, and I could really see the progress I've made as a rider in that time. It's been quite a journey! It's also very bittersweet to realize that my college showing career is quickly coming to a close: Davis was my last ever 'away' show, and the home show at Stanford will be my last show ever. Yikes. The time really has flown.
(Our second medium trot)
I have lots more pictures of everyone else on the team, too, but have to run to the barn right now for a team lesson. Sorry the blog has been so quiet lately; it's been a crazy few weeks of school and not much interesting has been happening in my horsey life. But things are definitely starting to pick up =)