Show Season

Show Season

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Off Season Riding

Catch Up First, as once again I am failing at keeping up with posting!  Riva and I went to our first schooling show at KHP last Saturday - Snowbird Dressage Series.  They have a show in Nov, Dec, Feb, & March and hold them in the old covered arena - if you are familiar with Kentucky Horse Park.

We hauled in on Friday evening to get a bit of schooling in, which was a good idea, as this arena is kinda spooky.  Thankfully, two other riders stalled their horses overnite and right next to Riva, so she was totally relaxed in the barns.

There is alot to see at KHP and even though it is November, still a busy place - Dressage Finals was happening on the same weekend.  This was great, as we got to see several of our friends from Indiana and watch Alexis's former trainer/boss compete a lovely mare in the Open Training Level Finals - of which she took Reserve Champion.

We competed in two classes last Saturday - Training Level Test 3 and First Level Test 1.  This was our first attempt at First Level and in the end, the First 1 went much better than TL 3.  During our first warm up, Riva was Very distracted and behind my leg.  Here is just one of the new sights Riva saw during warm up:

Lovely, yes - what you want to see coming at you during warm-up, No!  
My husband got this shot standing on the opposite end of the warm-up arena.

As we headed in for my first test, my confidence was low - I knew Riva was not paying attention and was behind my leg and even with Alexis's coaching, I could not get this turned around.  Every time I have rode Training Level Test 3 over this year, our score has went higher...was not the case this time around.  Riva was very spooky in the C- M corner of the arena - did not want to go forward toward the judge, wanted to jump into the arena in that corner, did not want to pick up canter and once she did, it was not pretty.  We ended with I think the lowest score we had ever received in TL 3.  At least I kept trying and we got an 8 on our final halt!  Probably because Riva knew it was over!  Oh, and I didn't cry until later.

Warm up for First 1 went far better.  We decided to school in the outdoor next to the covered warm-up and arena.  I was much more successful at getting her forward and listening.

Even though our score was not much higher for First 1 than Training 3, I felt much better with how I rode.  I was much more confident and insistent that Riva pay attention and keep her mind in the ring instead of looking around. I know we have many things to work on over the winter - canter conditioning is at the top of the list.  Working over her back, pushing from behind and into the contact - always a work in progress.

Cold day, but the colors were lovely around KHP!

Would I rather have blue ribbons hanging on my horse's halter and scores in the 70's?  Of course!  Are we always going to have a great show - no...although when you work hard at this 6 days a week, it will always be discouraging to have a less than stellar show.  More to work on and strive for.

I was extremely proud and happy with Riva's behavior at a new busy show grounds when walking to and from the arena and how well behaved she was in her stall.  And as always, very grateful for a supportive and involved husband and daughter.  They make this so much more fun!


Amy said...

Now who is the one being too hard on themselves??? You have made such amazing progress and we always have to keep that in perspective when it come to horses. The pictures she looks lovely. And she is such an amazingly stunning horse.

Hillary said...

It's all about the experience. Love the pictures!

achieve1dream said...

You guys always look so great! I LOVE that first picture. :D Sorry it didn't go like you hoped, but the next one will be better. I know all horses are different, but when we moved it took months for Faran to settle in. He's the spooky, previously abused Percheron we have and for a long time it was like we had never even worked with him. Now I can walk all around him and even pick his feet up at liberty again. It just took time for him to settle in. :) I'm sure Riva will be much better next time since she knows the arena now. :)

Lauren @ She Moved To Texas said...

Completely know how you feel - it's really discouraging when you've worked hard and spent a lot of money to be there. The good news is, if my horse saw the Clydesdales coming at him I'd be on the ground and he'd be in the next county :) Ya'll will get there, and you did improve!

Karley said...

Sorry it didn't go as you would have liked BUT it looks and sounds like overall it was good!! And the pictures are awesome :)

SprinklerBandit said...

You guys are so fancy. Riva is just an eye catching girl. Better luck next time!

T Myers said...

This is what these shows are for! At least you are out there doing it, it will only get better from here!

Emme said...

The lows are what makes the highs so thrilling. If not for valleys, there would be no Mountain High.
I think you look great, and going up to a new level is awesome!! Beautiful pics too

Tracy said...

At a new venue, you never know what to expect! I have a feeling that things will be better next time around!

Jen said...

You are catching up on posting and I am catching up on commenting. :) I love that swallowtail pad on her! I'm glad you had the second test to redeem the first one - I like that about Dressage, there are no second chances in eventing. Good to see you posting again!