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Well, silly things first.  Since my old spur straps were wearing out, on Black Friday I decided to be fancy and order myself some new spur straps from Spur of the Moment.  I actually thought they were going to be a double row of pearls to match Cally’s dressage bridle, which has a pearl browband.  But when they arrived, I saw that they were rhinestones, which are simple enough that they work too.  They rested on the hall table, waiting for me to clean my boots and dispose of the ratty old straps.  And voila, magic!

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So awesomely attired, I set out for the show this morning.  It was cold and windy, and because of the rain yesterday, Cally had spent the day and night inside.  Fortunately, I put standing wraps on her yesterday, so her legs were looking pretty good.  Unfortunately, it left her much tighter and stiffer than normal, which is bad, because she’s naturally a pretty tense and stiff horse.  We started out with Rabid Giraffe, with a bonus side of Snorty Firebreathing Dragon.  So we walked and walked, and eventually, she became less snorty and less giraffey, and I started asking for a little bit of leg yield, and she finally settled down and went to work.  She warmed up pretty well after that, but they were running behind, so we were a bit too warmed up.

We went down to the into the other indoor, which has dark footing and can be a little spooky.  Despite having been over there for a show or two the last few winters, she decided it was spooky today.  And I didn’t ride through it as well as I should have.  So to say it was not the best test we’ve ever ridden would be an understatement.  But the judge was great, gave very constructive and useful feedback, and said that what was good was very good, but we need to work on using bend to keep that going.

For the second test, Training 2, I tried to take the advice, keeping out a bit more in the corners and think about leg yielding into them to get a better bend, and thus response.  I also tried to think about letting her go forward a little more.  And while the canter transitions were maybe a bit more exciting than they needed to be, the test felt significantly better.  I was happy to end for the day on that note.

I untacked, shared a honeycrisp with Cally, cleaned up, and bundled back up, and since they’d decided to group all the Training tests into one class, and there was still one more Training ride, in another half hour.  So I opted to take Cally home and let her enjoy some turnout in the sunshine, and come back on the way home to get my scores.

And so I went back to pick up our scores and ribbons.  Despite the big group, we ended up with a 6th and an 8th, and broke 60% for both tests, which is better than we did at any of our shows last year.  That’s a great way to start the 2015 show year, as is the 8 we got on our first halt in T2!  Hopefully we can keep building on this, and do well in the sandbox this year.

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