One day I’ll get back to posting regularly but that ain’t happenin’ until October probably (because new job + moving to a new house + horse showing + freelancing + doing normal things like keeping myself fed and in clean clothing makes for a VERY BUSY LISA) so for now you just get more horse show recaps.
Otter Creek Fall Horse Trials: Area IV Championships
This was it! The culmination of my season. My goal. The cool part was, I had already accomplished my goal by qualifying at Novice. That meant I got to just go and have fun and not worry about placings or anything except enjoying a wonderful horse showing / camping weekend.
We had a great warm up ride. Duke’s homing beacon toward the barn seemed to be turned off this time, so that was really nice. He felt fancy and soft and just super.
My goal for the actual test was to be able to think about my riding more than just the directions about what movement to do next. And I did that!
I was able to think about keeping his inside hind engaged and pushing him forward into the contact. I thought about having deep elbows and soft ring fingers and allowing him to go more forward.
Was it perfect? Nope. But I felt like it was our best test this season. Duke was focused, I was happy with my riding and we had moments that felt like pure magic! It was the kind of test that made me feel like whatever our score was, it didn’t matter.
Which is good, because we ended up on a 37.9.
To be fair, it was a championship division, so I expected harder judging. We were put into 8th. The first place horse was on like a 25.5.
The judge’s comments were mostly about Duke getting above the bit (which he did occasionally) and using more half halts (and don’t we all need more of these?) and getting more bend (totally fair). We did get a 7 on our stretchy trot circle and a 7.5 on the free walk. Duke loves that stretch. But now we need to take that feeling and achieve it on the contact, too.
One really fun part of the weekend was that there was a team competition as well. There were three of us from our barn riding Novice and by the end of the first day, we were in second place out of 11 teams! I honestly still don’t know how that happened because all three of us were in the 37 Club in dressage.
Overall, I was pleased with the day. We’d gotten through it, and I felt that it was a successful test despite the number being higher than you’d like. And the next day was cross country day!
All photos in this post are by Xpress Foto and were purchased for personal use.