We made it! Today Pa, Ringo, and I bundled up and headed off to Gales Ferry, CT, for my first dressage show of the year and our first attempt at 4th level since our DISASTER outing at Hossmoor last spring. I was a little nervous and my expectations were pretty guarded, given our last performance at this level, but I was hoping that all our work over the winter would be sufficient to boost us up into the more socially acceptable score ranges. I was really hoping for that first elusive Silver Medal score, but I didn't want to get my hopes too far up for the first show of the year when Ringo could easily be frisky and less than obedient.
And indeed, he was a bit frisky and at some times (including very nearly running away with me in both medium AND extended canters) a little less than obedient at others (including an EPIC spook-spin-prop legit 5 seconds before I entered the arena), but in general he was fabulous. He feels so much better on the whole than he did even last August when we last showed, and certainly is miles ahead of where he was last May when we last tried to move up to 4th. So for all that I thought our test lacked some finesse and control, I was mega pleased.
Mercifully, the judge agreed! We ended up with a 63%, a great score given the slight bobbles and craziness that plagued most movements. Wahoo! First score for our silver medal down, and a great start to the season. Good boy, Ray :) I'm so excited for the rest of the season!
And now, for some pretty pictures courtesy of my amazing groom, Pa:
(Look at that topline! Real!)
(Yeehaw! Even though we're both a little crunched in this picture, I'm so pleased with how he's coming underneath himself while staying filled out at the base of his neck - our winter homework has paid off!!)