Here we are again, folks! Yes, I did two horse trials in two weekends, and yes, they were both more than 4-and-a-half hours away, and yes, I am exhausted. No, I don’t regret a moment of it!
This horse trials was great because it was set over three days instead of two (or one, like some in our Area). Dressage day dawned warm and humid.
Duke was really feeling the excitement of show day.
JUST KIDDING. These photos show three different times that he laid down for a nap prior to our 2:30pm dressage time. Three naps. Rough life.
After he was bathed and braided I hoped he’d stay on his feet. But no, apparently his beauty treatments were just exhausting. When it was time to start tacking him up I had to go in and try to get him to stand. Instead, he laid all the way down and stretched out with a big groan like, ugh I’m too tired to dressage today. Oh and he laid down with his braids in the shavings.
Thankfully I’m wise to his tricks so I do my best to keep his stall ultra clean, so he can’t create pee or poo stains on his freshly-bathed white coat.
Anyway. I had some nerves going into dressage because last weekend he turned his brain off during the test. But our ride the night before was stellar, and his warmup was superb. Like, really great. I was also hoping to finish the weekend in the top four in order to qualify for our Area Championships show at Novice, so that was some added (self-induced) pressure for the weekend.
Our test was pretty good! He did get a bit distracted and fussy in the bridle in the first half of the test but he was much more rideable and and bendable and push-forward-able. Both weekends he did the best after he got to the stretchy trot circle, so I may have to incorporate one of those into our routine just prior to entering the ring. It seems to help him take a breath.
We ended up getting a 34.5, putting us in 4th place, which was so exciting! The judge’s comments were about getting him to be more supple (which I already knew) and that we were a lovely team. I was very happy to
be done with dressage have finished our first phase so positively, and I felt we were vastly improved from the previous weekend. I always like to compete against myself and see if I can do better each time out, and I definitely feel we did that this weekend.