Namely, I went up to GMHA Dressage Days for the weekend to volunteer as a scribe. It was my first time being at a show since last September, and ooh lawdy it felt good to be back.
The weather was absolutely unreal perfect, I got teamed up with the same great judge on both days, and had a blast scribing for 2nd level all the way up through Grand Prix over the two days. I have scribed for eventing dressage but never the pure stuff, and it was really informative to see what mistakes make different scores happen.
(Sunday in the FEI ring - this horse was sooooooo fancy!)
Most interestingly, the judge I scribed for was one that I had last year at PSG, and one who I got one of my lower scores of the season from. I had sort of grumbled about it at the time, but after spending two days with her I knew beyond a doubt that my low score had come from inaccuracies in my test (which she was brutal on, especially correct angles in shoulder-ins and half passes and getting things like flying change counts totally, flawlessly correct) and not from any bias from her. It's not even that I'd thought that at the time, but it is always easy to make excuses for a bad performance... until you're literally sitting there watching a test similar to yours getting scored low and seeing with your own eyes why it's not up to scratch. It was humbling, but also inspiring to watch the direct correlation between test accuracy and good scores. It works, people!
I have no idea when I'll actually be able to use all the education I got out of this weekend, as I have no idea when realistically I'll get to show again, but oh well; it was still tons of fun. It was also really fun to be up at GMHA again, which is far and away one of my favorite spots on this good green earth, equestrian or otherwise. I've showed at GMHA for nearly 20 years now and they've given me so much happiness, so it felt good to spend a few days giving something back to them. Plus, they really know how to make a volunteer feel loved: showering us with free food and goodies throughout the weekend. Thanks, GMHA!
(Morning light in the dust bowl)
(Early morning Queechee Gorge)