I was a little apprehensive about this show, because it would be the first show that I'd be taking Phil to that we didn't stay overnight the night before. Although we got stalls at the show (because I'm sure Phil would not stand well in or tied to the trailer) I knew I wouldn't have time to ride in the actual show rings before my tests. I'd have to just trust that he wouldn't have a complete meltdown.
We got to the show and Debbie and I hand-walked Kaswyn and Phil around the arenas before the show started. Then it was a rush of activity to get the horses and riders ready. Luckily we were stalled with my trainer, who had five horses and students there, so we had plenty of help.
First up was Debbie and Kaswyn in Intro A.
They did a fantastic job and won their class with a 70.2%!
Next up was Debbie again on Kaswyn, this time Intro B.
Again they won their class with a 68% (I think) . They are now working on the canter and I think it's Intro C and Training 1 for them at the next show. I'm so happy and proud of them both!
Then I was up on Phil. So, let me just say how happy I am with Phil. I didn't have time to lunge him before the warmup, as I was trying to help Debbie and Kaswyn get ready for their first test, and then I had to run back to the barn to get Phil ready. I missed her second test because I was on Phil. Anyway, I hopped on him and, although he was a little tense, he really settled down and did some wonderful work in the warmup. My trainer even said that there were many moments where his tail was completely straight. This makes me happy, and hopeful that once he gets balanced and properly muscled that the tail can straighten out.
Here is our first test, Training 1.
Overall I was thrilled as how well he handled the stress of a strange show ring. He really kept it all together and we made it through the test with no major incidents! Of course we have room to improve. He needs to be more relaxed into the contact, for one thing. That's just going to take time. He was much more relaxed in the warmup, so I know it's possible. We scored a 66%, but were out of the ribbons.
After the first test I took him back to the barn and untacked him for a about 30 minutes before our next test. Our second test was Training level test 2. Unfortunately they were running quite a bit behind for the next test so I was on him for a lot longer than I wanted to be. I think he was a little tired and kinda pissy for this test, but still I think it went very well. Again, no major issues, but we need a better more relaxed connection. We scored a 61.1%, and were 6th in the class.
And yes, in case you're wondering, this was a huge schooling show. They ran three full rings all day!
I'm very happy with Kaswyn, Debbie and Phil. I'm less happy with my performance. Phil gets me leaning forward, especially at the shows and, more importantly, in the actual tests themselves. I think this is because my arms are too short, and I want to be able to give him room in the neck with more rein, but I don't want to let the rein out because of his issue with me taking up suddenly on the reins. This is getting better, I will admit, but I think I go into self-preservation mode and I get too far forward. It's something I really need to work on.
I think our next planned schooling show is in July. I'm trying to squeeze in a lesson this week. I feel like we are making progress, but I also feel like there is so much to improve upon. I guess that's what makes it dressage, huh?
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