This weekend we went to our last schooling show as one final prep for our first rated show later this month. Tucker was, of course, fantastic. I didn't have time to upload all the photos, but I promise tomorrow I'll do a photo dump, thanks to Ethan's mom who came and took some lovely photos.
|Did you say horse show? Let's go I'm ready.|
On the first test, he scored a 69.8. Overall this test felt "good," and most of our movements scored 7.0's, but I'd say it was a little lackluster. Like we hadn't finished our coffee or something. In both trot lengthenings I pushed him forward and he went, "meh, this is good." And I tried to make it happen by posting higher which actually I think was just awkward for everyone.
Both canter transitions, however, were very good. His left lead got a "prompt" comment and his right lead got a "nice jump into canter." Praise the lord, we are actually improving our canter transitions. Sadly, when I pushed him for the lengthening in the canter he was like "yeah I'll think about it, try me later." We got the comment "good try." OUCH.
Takeaway lesson here is that I need to do what I did in between the tests - which is open him up and let him "gallop" (haha, it's not even close to a gallop) in my warm up, and then put him back together, and then do my trot lengthenings, before going into the ring. Which probably means getting on about ten minutes earlier. I was going with the theory that usually at home twenty minutes into the ride he feels great, so I should warm up for twenty minutes at the show, but we all know they are different at the show. Mine apparently is about as laid back as Jimmy Buffett on a catamaran after a pitcher of margaritas. Which is nice, but not ideal for a dressage score.
We also had a "WHO PUT THAT THERE" moment where he trotted right into the little white fence coming around a turn. I think I actually said "WTF" under my breath. And the extreme irony is that just before it happened I was feeling really impressed with us for riding all the way into the corner. And then we rode INTO the corner. Tucker needs to learn not to take me so literally. Thankfully for you guys, there is hilarious video evidence of this. (Which I will share, because I have no shame.)
|Pretty canter. Which I am slightly closer to sitting.|
I liked the second test a lot. Our score was a 71.4, which is our highest score to date, and he felt really, really good. My proudest moment - we got an 8.0 on our right lead canter transition. In this test you come across the diagonal, trot at X, and then have to pick up the right lead as you hit the rail at F. Totally felt like we nailed it too. I was so pleased with him.
She said our leg yields were "lovely" and "so fluid," and I just about burst with pride because those are new moves for us and sometimes I still feel iffy about them. I am so glad I saw this picture (below) though because now I know why the right-to-left feels so awkward. I am keeping my right elbow in (congrats on that, self), but I'm also shoving my right shoulder at him while simultaneously dropping my left shoulder, which doesn't even seem possible to do all that at once. Seriously, try it in your chairs right now. I am a freak.
|This horse is just so pretty, and I'm 100% biased.|
But just look at that look of concentration! He is doing that lip thing he used to do when jumping really well, so now we know he is serious about this dressage stuff.
|Dis my game face.|
Seriously though, the big man really did have his game face on. Right as we went in for our second test, this little chestnut horse showed up in warm up ring next to us and would NOT SHUT UP. This thing screamed every time he took a breath, and I am not exaggerating. And as we trotted toward A, I saw there was a particularly boisterous young horse on the lunge line broncing and bouncing around and answering the screamer, and I all I could think was "FML, this is going to be a train wreck." But we trotted down that centerline and Tucker was like "MOM. I am a PROFESSIONAL. I am NOT going to be distracted by any of that. PUH-LEASE." Sometimes they surprise you in a good way.
Oh and the judge said he has plenty of potential for moving up the levels and has three lovely gaits (three! that includes the walk!), and in my head I jumped off my horse, ran over and hugged her, and then did a victory lap around the dressage court flailing my arms around while the crowd went wild. But really I just patted him and tried not to tear up because I'm a sap and he's like my kid and awshucksI'mjustsoproud.
|Extra bonus points for the fact that I did not embarrass myself |
in front of our trainer, Amy Howard, who was there with her clients.
Such a good big brown horse. He earned himself a huge stack of golden oreos.