Technically the first horse show weekend of the fall, and leaves are coming off my tulip poplars out back at an alarming rate, but it was like 85 degrees and I showed without a coat on Sunday. Due to cancellations of a lot of the PVDA shows this year, I ended up having to double up on showing this past weekend, because it was the only way I could get the last two scores I needed.
Thankfully the showing on Saturday was a fall iteration of the spring schooling series our barn ran, since Holly had a lot of people asking about fall dates after the other local barn that ran a little series closed. So no shipping anywhere, and she got to hang out in her own stall under a fan eating alfalfa all day when not in the ring. The plan was for me to roll in early and get her all cleaned up, then WBBF was going to come do the Adult Leadline class at the start of the day. That didn’t happen, because either my alarm didn’t go off, or I slept through it (it was a looong and busy week at work last week, and I got home at 3AM and had a 6:30AM alarm set!). I woke up at 8:04AM–show start time was 8–and panicked, and woke up WBBF and told him he could continue sleeping in, we were going to miss his horse show debut.
Since we missed that, I decided to add in the Cider Class, which is the fall version of the Wine Class we did in the spring. Cally is comfortable, but not the smoothest, and the judge had us pulling some tough maneuvers, like posting on the wrong diagonal so it was bouncier.
We made the cut out of the very larger starter group of like 12 into the rideoff class of 6 that actually got to canter around giggling and sloshing cider all over ourselves–please note that I learned from the Wine class this spring, and opted for no gloves and rust breeches. A few of the riders had impressive amounts of cider left, though, and I ended up 5th, missing out on the awesome prize baskets and gorgeous fancy ribbons. Still less disappointing than missing Adult Leadline!
Then I mostly hung out and waited for Open Hunter to run. Sidesaddle was on the prizelist but I was the only one around to do it, so hopefully it will fill next show. Our first Open round was also our scored round for the Derby, and we put in a respectable 76 for this trip.
I was happier with this trip than the second one, were we got a little chippy in to the rolltop we didn’t jump in the first round. It was set slightly downhill off the diagonal, so sometimes she builds up a little more step than I realize on that diagonal and we just hit it a little tight. Overall, though, I was thrilled with her rounds, and she flatted nicely too. We ended up with a straight string of thirds for the class, which is a theme I feel like we’re on for the year. Which is progress of a sort, as we’ve moved up from a lot of 4th/5ths to a whole lot of 3rds for the year, just sort of improving our game slightly and working on the little things like turns and track to finesse our rounds, moving us from pastels to low primary colors. Its a trend I’m hoping holds through til finals in November!
I was not thrilled with our Derby round, because it was a hot afternoon and she was tired and grumpy about bugs (despite like 8 layers of fly spray) and just kind of over it already. A few sticky lead change issues where she wasn’t quite sure where we were going so wasn’t 100% on board with the lead I was asking for, and a couple of small chips left us with a 65 for our second round. There were a few absolutely gorgeous trips, so we ended up 4th overall thanks to our solid first round score. It wasn’t the pretty pumpkin colored 3rd place I was hoping for, but well done nevertheless.
She got a full bath after we were done, and all the carrots in the basket. I was hoping she’d be a little refreshed til morning, so we could go get our dressage scores. Even the show we signed up for was pretty small–ending before 2PM–and was a combination of the JR/YR show and the Senior show that didn’t fill on its own. And they’d changed judges at the last minute to someone I kind of avoid riding under, since they usually score a good point lower than others, in my past experience. But off we went, some of us less enthused than others.
Since that’s the level of horse I was starting off with, and it was warm, I opted to keep warmup pretty simple, since I knew there would be a fine balance between “warmed up enough to put in a respectable test” and “overcooked with zero energy for test two”, plus warmup area at that venue is rather limited, which is yet another reason this show hadn’t been in my plans.
First One was an OK test, not like the one in early August that I went in and rode and knew was one of my best tests ever, but certainly solid. OK stretchy circle, and even the judge commented on our nice lengthenings. First Two was not quite as solid, though for the first time this year, I DIDN’T GET LOST! So that’s a win in my mind, even if my horse was tired and looking to walk in our stretchy circle (she’s usually trying to canter!) and led through the leg yields with her shoulder. Because at least we leg yielded the right way. And our best move remains the Halt, where she got 7s on both tests, in what is the only move we’ve ever gotten an 8 on. At least we have that going for us.
We somehow ended up with a slightly better score on the second test than the first, but with two 59%s to finish out our season with the scores we need for PVDA’s Year End awards.
And, guess what, a second and a third! I am completely happy ending our dressage season on that.
We’re going to have a pretty light October. I’ve just got the other Stellar show on my calendar right now, not sure there’s really much else that will fit into my schedule though I’d really like to pick up one more show somewhere, and focus on lessons. Then Cally will have a pretty easy end of October while I’m out of town for a conference and vacation combo. Then the weekend after I get home, we’ll hopefully be showing at MHSA Regionals for the Low Adult Medal and the Adult Eq. The next weekend I may pick up the PVDA rated show that’s running at the PGEC, just so we can do our freestyle in the indoor there before heading to Mid Atlantic Equitation Festival the next weekend. It’ll be a quiet October, but November has big things coming for us!