Monday, August 26, 2013

Details - First KY Show

Original plans for the first KY show were delayed due to Riva's lameness issues just after we moved. Instead of showing in early July, last Saturday was our KY debut.  We stuck with Training Level Test 2 & Test 3 - the same as we showed in April and May.  My goals were to better the scores we received in May.

The show we attended was close - just a 15 minute drive from where we board (a first for us!)  I arranged for a stall, even though we would haul in the morning of the show and head back home after, Riva is not a stand around tied to a trailer type of girl.

I received our ride times in the mail last Tuesday (another first!) and due to the large amount of entries, we were to be stalled at a neighboring farm.  That farm owner called me on Friday to ask what time we would be arriving and if I needed directions (loving all this!)  She also explained that the show grounds would be a 5 minute walk from the barn where our stall was located - would not have to ride/walk on the road - that there was a path between the farms.

Walking to the show grounds for our first test

When we arrived on Saturday morning, the farm owner showed us Riva's stall, had a filled water bucket hanging already, bedded nicely with straw, and a pile of fresh hay in the corner for her.  Wow - have never experienced that before!  She showed us where we could plug in a stall fan and asked if we needed anything - super nice!

This show was a combined training and dressage only show with a a large crowd of participants and spectators.  I was happy to be stalled at the neighboring farm - it was quiet and we had lots of room to spread out our crap stuff.  Riva settled right in, was happy with the horses stalled on both sides of her, and promptly started munching the hay.  Husband and I walked over to the show grounds to see my rings - Training Test 3 was in a large sand arena with a typical dressage booth for the judge and Training Test 2 was in a small grass arena with the judge in a horse trailer.  Both warm ups were in open grass fields with ring stewards.  The jumping warm-up and course were well separated from the dressage areas - very pretty farm.

What has worked well for us this year is a 20 minute warm-up for the first test and a 10 minute warm-up for the second test - if we have down time in between.  My TL test 3 was at 3:08 and my TL test 2 was at 5:20 - two different judges, which I love then I get two different opinions.

Daughter arrived late morning so we got to watch a few rides of people we have met and see how things were run.  Decided just to leave Riva in her stall until we were ready to warm up and hope for the best.  We got ready and began the walk over to the ring about 25 minutes before my first test.  Riva was very brave on her 'trail ride' over to the show grounds - she only hesitated on the narrowed opening where we had to turn right or left to continue.

Warm Up for TL Test 3

Daughter coached us during warm up which was in a slightly hilly grass open area.  I was so proud of Riva and how she took this all in stride - like this is normal for her!  We headed in for TL test 3.

Entering at A for TL Test 3

Test 3 has double coefficients for the upward canter transitions and the free and medium walk.  We really worked on the canter transitions the previous week so I was fairly confident we could nail those.  Everything was going nicely until we got to the 'C' Working Trot, 'MXF' One Loop - Riva suddenly jerked her head to look over at the jump warm up and decided to momentarily not listen to my aids - it took me until X to get her attention back and then the remainder of the loop was nice.

Where Riva temporarily loses her mind :)

Our canter circle to the right earned us an 8!

Stretchy trot circle was our best ever and earned a 7

Rest of the test went smoothly and the halt was one of our best to date - we got an '8' for it!

Halt at X for TL test 3

Final score for TL Test 3 was a 68.40%, Second Place - our highest score for that test.

We had enough time to take Riva back to her stall between tests, hose her off, and let her rest.  She was napping when we pulled her out to tack up again for the next test.  

Test 2 warm up was at the opposite end of the farm - across a drive from the jump arena, so just a little more distracting.  Riva quickly got back to work and gave me the best left lead canter I think I have ever ridden on her - she had way more energy than normal for a second warm up also.

Entering at 'A' for TL Test 2

When we circled the perimeter to walk by the judge (in the scary horse trailer) I talked to Riva as we approached and when she saw the judge, she took it all in stride.  When did my mare grow up?!

Test 2 has given me trouble the last two times I have competed it - the canter transition between C & M, right lead - both times we have competed it this year, Riva has majorly resisted and bucked.  Daughter said we broke the Test 2 right lead canter curse at this show - we earned an 8 for that move Sat!

The Curse is broken!  Right lead canter transition

Riva loves the trot on the diagonal - both change rein working trot earned '8.5's'

Training Level - Test 3 earned us a 75.357%, first place and our highest score ever!
And first place got a bottle of fly spray - can always use that!

I was so proud of my mare and can not believe how she is maturing into a 'show horse'.  While she still looks at everything, she is giving me her all and knows when she steps in that ring that it is time to shine.  

Awesome photos courtesy of my husband!

A huge thank you to my husband and youngest daughter for their support, coaching, and willingness to help me realize my childhood dreams!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

First Kentucky Show!

Post with details to follow - until then, pictures from our first Kentucky show!
The Results!
Warm up with my trainer :)
The 'show grounds'...are all Ky farms gorgeous?
Training Level Test 3
TL Test 3
Smiling during canter!
TL Test 3
Training Level Test 2 was in a grass arena - a first!
She was not fazed in the least by the grass arena
Gone are the days when Riva would try and exit the arena :)
Training Level Test 3 - 68.4%
Training Level Test 2 - 75.357%
Riva Diva


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fellow Bloggers

Head on over to slowandsteadysmilerwinstherace and follow her blog!  I have had the pleasure of meeting Amy and Steady in person and seeing them at shows several times.  Amy is a wonderful horsewoman and mom - her blog is always fun to read.  She is going to hold a contest when she reaches 100 followers!

Steady looking good in blue!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dressage Radio

I have some catching up to do!  First off, Riva was cleared for full work at the last vet check and we are back at it!  We are going to our first Kentucky show a week from Saturday - just a local schooling show where we will compete Training Level Test 2 & Test 3.  So looking forward to it - last show was in May, so hope we aren't too rusty.

The past few days have been so lovely here - temps in the 70's, warm, sunny, blue favorite type of weather.  Today we hacked around the property with my daughter on a client's mare - Riva's bff - was so relaxing.  One of those rides where even though we were just walking, makes me realize how far we have come.  For Riva to walk calmly (on the bit even) around next to another mare is a huge improvement.  Where did that mare go that laid her ears back at every horse near her? 

A bit of exciting news to share - I was a guest on The Dressage Radio Show earlier this week and the episode is now posted.  Go to to listen on line :)  Right now, it is the current episode.  Once a new episode is posted, I am episode # 220.  If you do not have time to listen to the entire episode, I am at the 44:00 minute marker and last till 51:33.  It is a great show to listen to and they always have training tips!

Still job hunting - but have had two really good phone interviews recently.  Hope to have something positive to post on the job front very soon!

Alexis posing at a random farm - love KY!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Walk in the Country

Last vet check, Riva still was not cleared for full work - some soreness in her right suspensory was evident.  So for the past week and a half, we have a walk only day then a light regular work day.  Pics are from one of our walk only days.  The weather the past two weeks has been lovely - more like early fall than summer.
Walking up the drive
Tobacco plants in the background! 
Hunter/Jumper Barn in the background - neighboring property
Riva tolerating our walk ride :)
Vet re-check this coming Monday.  Hoping for clearance for full work again and aiming for a show later in August.