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princessfluffybritches
Oct. 5, 2010, 05:42 PM
Is there a moment or something you did during a test that clinched that blue? Share your 20/20 hindsight!

My high strung tense in the neck horse at a training level test finally won a blue. We had stood out in the sun all day waiting for my last test . I guess he was a bit tired , so he just did what I asked, and didn't have the energy to be tense. (we had a 10 am test, then a 5pm test)

BetterOffRed
Oct. 5, 2010, 05:49 PM
I was the only one in the class.:lol:

RedHorses
Oct. 5, 2010, 08:28 PM
I once sat my horse on his ass in a near halt two steps before E and said "CANTER!" (with aids, not voice) after he dribbled down the long side in a half canter half trot having never completed the canter transition between C and H.

Of course blue here is second place. :lol:


With another horse I rode the entire test in shoulder-fore positioning - it was at an event, but we were waaaaay ahead of second place after dressage. Far enough that having a refusal on XC (20 penalties for that) only dropped us to second place. :winkgrin:

mickeydoodle
Oct. 5, 2010, 10:44 PM
Well, fat old me just rode my heart out for the third level regional championships in Lexington Ky a couple years ago and by some strange alignment of the horse and the stars, we won.

EqTrainer
Oct. 5, 2010, 11:00 PM
Hmmmm.

By default. Sometimes I have been the one who stayed in the arena. Sometimes not :lol:

By having the nicest horse. Shameful feeling, to school the babies and take ribbons from newbies and kids. Note to self: remember to show unjudged next time under those circumstances.

By surprise. Sometimes you don't know your horse is a rockstar until it happens. This is a nice surprise.

By determination. That you will beat the woman whom has been running down your OTTB all season. She has an excuse afterwards but you have a 69% and it's the last show to qualify at. Sorry to say, it felt great.

By luck. The judge looked down during the airborne canter depart.

By accident. Pigeons fly up and your horse gives you an extension he never had before and never will again.

By hard work and consistency. I wish this one seemed to have more to do with it all but looking back, it appears it was all somewhat random. I don't miss it at all.

ThreeFigs
Oct. 5, 2010, 11:14 PM
Often, because, like BetteroffRed said, we were the only ones in our class.

But my shining moment was last year in what was supposed to be our warmup class for the First Level Championship. By a fluke of scheduling, I rode my Champ test FIRST, and the warmup test ended up being our last test of the show season.

I don't know, I was hot and uncomfortable in my show coat, I was tired, but the warmup went well. I thought to myself, "ride this one for fun", as we entered the arena.

We won the class with a 70% score. And we WEREN'T the only entries!

netg
Oct. 6, 2010, 12:00 AM
By having the nicest horse. Shameful feeling, to school the babies and take ribbons from newbies and kids. Note to self: remember to show unjudged next time under those circumstances.


I was at my first dressage show, but felt bad beating the two kids I was competing against in novice. My judge underlined Lovely horse!! on one test, and wrote it in all caps on the other.

He's learning that getting out of the trailer and riding that day is ok, riding in wide open spaces and full sized arenas is ok, I'm learning how to control him when 's overly energetic. We had several launch into the air to canter moments, bolt into canter moments, etc. But scored in the 60's and won anyway.

Bogey2
Oct. 6, 2010, 06:36 AM
I was the only one in the class.

:lol::lol::lol:

atlatl
Oct. 6, 2010, 10:25 AM
I was at a show with an overly enthusiastic ring crew who decided to come in with the tractor and drag the arena during my test. The tractor was followed by a ring steward running, screaming and waving her arms at him.

My AQHA gelding flicked an ear, got a little more oomph in his trot and carried on.

Velvet
Oct. 6, 2010, 10:29 AM
I was the only one in the class.:lol:

You're making me wish we could vote on replies. I'd give you my vote for that one! :lol:

For me, working one to two levels above the test I'm riding.

Twigster
Oct. 6, 2010, 10:36 AM
I was at a show with an overly enthusiastic ring crew who decided to come in with the tractor and drag the arena during my test. The tractor was followed by a ring steward running, screaming and waving her arms at him.

My AQHA gelding flicked an ear, got a little more oomph in his trot and carried on.

:lol::lol::lol: Gotta love that QH temperament!

My latest ah-HA moment came when the owner of the horse I am leasing told me to "always feel like you're riding the stretchy trot" right before our last test. That test was 8% better than our first of the day! ETA it was good for a 2nd place, but it was our first rated show together.

Gallop~on~Grant
Oct. 6, 2010, 11:10 AM
Practice, Practice, Practice.

And when I say practice, I mean, not waiting until the week of the show to ride your test. I can't believe how often I hear, "I haven't ridden my test yet" and the show is 3 days away! YIKES!

Mind you, these are mostly training and 1st level riders, but still. It boggles my mind.

We take lessons, clinics, we do our homework, but how often do we ride our tests?

Your test should be second nature to you by the time you go to a show. So you don't have to think "where do I go now?" you can think "I am going to half halt in the corner right before I go across the diagonal" etc.

How can you know your geometry if you have not ridden the test? Your technical riding skills can push you over the top!

KNOWING your tests give you confidence in the show ring. Most of the riders that made the comment above usually look like a deer in the headlights coming down centerline.

And booze.

ThreeFigs
Oct. 6, 2010, 11:12 AM
Atlatl, great story! Did anyone catch this on video? It'd be "Funniest Home Videos" material!

ThreeFigs
Oct. 6, 2010, 11:22 AM
G~O~G, I have a variation that my coach and I laugh about. Last year, there were a couple of shows wherein I literally debuted the complete test -- I may have ridden parts of the test, but prior to the show, had never ridden through the entire thing.

My coach, when learning of this, was OMGWTF!!! and was crestfallen, figuring the test would be a disaster.

We won both classes with scores over 60%.

So it depends! Next year, however, we'll be doing Third Level. I do NOT think that will work in 2011. Stuff happens too fast in the new tests.

Booze only after the show. Drinking at H/J shows back in the day -- OK -- but not at dressage shows!

dressagedevon
Oct. 6, 2010, 02:45 PM
Our blues starting coming when I got over everything and decided to go for it! I mean we went all out in the test I held nothing back, moved him forward and asked for everything he had. When I figured out that hell its just a show and so what if I totally screw up, I'll try again at another show. That's when we really started bring in the blues, in one day we went from a respectable 63 something when I was all concerned about doing everything right to a 72 something when I decided to lay it all on the line! :yes:

leilatigress
Oct. 6, 2010, 02:55 PM
DD got her first blue after I gave Pony an entire bottle of DP (by accident) and he actually had pizzaz. So much so his working trot was more extended trot than anything else. Second blue came after DD hugged her pony right after the final halt when she finally nailed those dang 20m circles that looked like circles and not squares with minor corners. Trainer almost did cartwheels out of the arena she was so happy. Pony just pranced right out of the arena like the big shot he was.

BetterOffRed
Oct. 6, 2010, 03:04 PM
I was the only one in the class.

Because this has happened 2 out of the 3 times that I placed 1st. I totally hate when I people tell me, "woo-hoo I got a blue ribbon!!! or "I got high-point!!"

And then a couple of days later, I see the score in the newsletter or online and see that they were the only one in the class and they won with a 54%. Or even better, they went to a show where their trainer was the judge (HTF?!?!? is that a true judge of your ride!?!??!)

At least I am honest! To me, the 50 cent ribbon is useless, but getting a first (or a second, third, etc) in a true class of your peers with a real judge is an accomplishment.

maybe I would do better if I had more booze...or is it less booze?

ThreeFigs
Oct. 6, 2010, 03:05 PM
What's DP? I have a horse that could use some...

BetterOffRed
Oct. 6, 2010, 03:07 PM
What's DP? I have a horse that could use some...

Dr. Pepper?

meupatdoes
Oct. 6, 2010, 03:47 PM
Weellll.... at the last show I attended, the fact that my Young Sir started practicing for his Prix Caprilli test early and jumped out of the arena between A and F gave somebody ELSE the blue ribbon...
:lol::lol::lol:

carolprudm
Oct. 6, 2010, 04:30 PM
I was riding my old eventing pony and it was POURING. We arrived at the warmup and the steward said I could go right in if I wanted since the previous rider had scratched. Actually there were quite a few scratches.
Things were NOT going to improve with any warmup so I asked the judge if he minded if I tied a knot in my reins.
He said I could do whatever I thought I needed to.
My nice surefooted pony put in a great test with me hanging onto the knotted reins and we ended up in first place.
Being 5 months pregnant I decided however not to risk the jumping and withdrew.

purplnurpl
Oct. 6, 2010, 04:38 PM
by riding an adorable grey horse with big pink snip.

And I always say a perfect braiding job gets a perfect score. I think turn out shows up in the collective marks.

hate to say it, but the greys often get a few extra points for the "ahhhhh" factor.

yaya
Oct. 6, 2010, 04:59 PM
I read the judge's comments from the first day of the show. Then had two margaritas with dinner.

The second day, I felt like I had something to prove, and brought my score up from a 57 to a 64.

Next show is regionals, and although reading the judge's comments and following them was probably responsible for most of my improvement, I think I'll still have two margaritas at dinner the night before, just in case! ;)

cyndi
Oct. 6, 2010, 10:36 PM
I had my best rides at a schooling show, unfortunately. It was one of those first chilly mornings of the year, a bit windy and although he's always got a lot of suspension, my then-four-year-old was really up on his toes .He was soft, supple, his back was up, up, up and it felt like he was boinging 18" of the ground with every stride. Instead of hanging on him and trying to 'reel him in,' I just tried to 'manage' him around the test without interfering - giving the reins whenever I could, which just made him reach for the bit and go even bigger. It was riding on the edge. ;) And we got a 77%. It was undoubtedly the best ride of my 20+ years in dressage.

atlatl
Oct. 6, 2010, 11:52 PM
Atlatl, great story! Did anyone catch this on video? It'd be "Funniest Home Videos" material!

Alas no, he was a great horse and I still miss him. Another memorable show moment with him was when I did a trail trial in my dressage saddle being too lazy to heave the western saddle onto him. One obstacle was to pick up a bag of empty soda cans and side pass to a trash can and toss them in. Being a show off, I shook the bag loudly and then threw them into the trash can. My horse promptly stuck his head in the trash can, pulled the bag out, shook his head and dropped it back in.

ThreeFigs
Oct. 7, 2010, 09:52 AM
:lol: He sounds like a one in a million horse!

princessfluffybritches
Oct. 7, 2010, 11:06 AM
by riding an adorable grey horse with big pink snip.

And I always say a perfect braiding job gets a perfect score. I think turn out shows up in the collective marks.

hate to say it, but the greys often get a few extra points for the "ahhhhh" factor.

Love those extra points!

Alpha Mare
Oct. 7, 2010, 03:21 PM
Well, I would credit braiding, having run through the test several times the month before, gone over it every 5 minutes the 2 days before, and recognizing that the gaits are the most important and accuracy is 2nd. I starting trying to be 'early' for each movement which made me more 'on time' at the letter - previously I'd been late...

So I was all ready to ride really well and have a great time at the Championship show.... then my little chestnut mare took exception to the drags lying in the grass outside (visible in the windows just at eye level for the horse out of the indoor) and bolted at 'H'. Our first class we got a '2' on one movement and a '3' on another due to takeoffs at 'H'. Our second, Championship class we moved that up to '4's by stronger riding.

I thought we were too far gone to be fabulous so I concentrated on just being relaxed and having a balanced gait by the time we got to 'C'. Happily the marks went back to 6 or better for the rest of the test.

So they weren't my best rides but I did get the lateral work where I wanted it and transitions at the letter, etc. To my surprise I found out later ALL the horses spooked at the drags. The person who boards at that facility had her horse bolt AND kick the boards. I was pleasantly surprised to find I won the class (!).

Lesson learned - know the test, relax and recoup from a bobble.

katarine
Oct. 7, 2010, 04:53 PM
Nailing what I can nail- timing of transitions, where the hell is X, what is a circle, etc..

One judge commented to my trainer (at a schooling show): I knew she had to be your student...She knows how to ride a corner :)

I've shown so much in various types of stuff that showing itself doesn't oog me out. If we blow a maneuver I am past it and working on the next thing, it's DONE until later when I can think about it. I get very tightly tuned in, but not tense at all. I LOVE showing my horse. I think it shows.

netg
Oct. 7, 2010, 05:01 PM
I forgot to mention eye contact at my first halt at X.

Second test of the day on a horse who was extremely hyped up. First test, our halt at X was a bit brief, so next test I decided we were going to do an AQHA eq class worthy long halt, stop, wait for eye contact with the judge and her acknowledgement before going on. Stop, salute, wait, get a HUGE smile from the judge, and go on. When I picked up the scoresheet from my first test she had commented that I needed a longer halt... so the smile was in reaction to me following her advice, despite the fact I hadn't had time to read it yet.

princessfluffybritches
Oct. 8, 2010, 12:01 AM
I do have to admit that my walls were covered in mostly red. But my first horse, my little brown horse, was still a champion in my eyes.

Dressage Dreamer
Oct. 8, 2010, 10:00 PM
I won high score and received a ten from a pretty big judge on a canter transition. I love to ride my horses in pastures while practicing and the grass was really tall. So my mare would really jump through the grass in the transitions,haha. I think it not only helped her but helped me learn what the correct feeling was!

Also I won with a ten and a 9 on my halts in a test. (same mare, little high strung TB) I practiced my halts in front of a mirror over and over and over and over until I could get them perfect and know exactly which leg was moving when :)

whitewolfe001
Oct. 9, 2010, 02:11 PM
My only ten was from a centerline also. I love centerlines! No matter the level, you always have to do two halts, and it's an easy place to pick up some big points. With regular practice (and mirrors help with that too of course) you can consistently nail a straight centerline with good transition and immobile halt and pick up a couple of 9's in every test.

KrazyTBMare
Oct. 9, 2010, 02:20 PM
I am fortunate that my mare and I are very accurate in our tests and do very well on our coeffiecents. That was how in 2008 I won Training Level and First Level Championships and 2009 I won Fall series, First Level Championships, and Year End for AA First level over 2 VERY nice WBs. My mare is an average mover, we have no lengthened trot, but we are very accurate, balanced in our canter 1 loops, great stretchy circles, steady steady steady. That has been what gets our blues for us in any test.

twnkltoz
Oct. 10, 2010, 01:26 PM
What got me the blue ribbon was riding an 8-year-old horse in T1 and T2...she was finally more broke than the other horses! They were good, solid rides, but the other horses did green baby horse stuff and mine didn't. hehe

Now that I have a better, better trained, more competitive horse, I hope to get some more through merit. :)

FLeckenAwesome
Oct. 10, 2010, 10:54 PM
Oooh great post!!!!

I also usually win by default... Just me and pony in our class. Sigh... it's kinda frustrating... At least if there is one other person I have a gauge of how I did...... I mean scores are nice, but some judges are nicer than others, so I like having one other person. Of course that usually means I get second ;)

But these are all helpful ideas!!! I had a judge this weekend tell me that the trot I got after our stretchy trot was the trot I wanted the whole test! YAY!! Something that I can apply and use :)

And our centerlines are usually pretty decent because we ALMOST lengthen down them. Come to think of it.. .hmmm... perhaps I should almost lengthen my entire test....
Oh, and the shoulder fore trick.... awesome on my horse.. it's just hard to do! ;P

I also like when I can "go for it" rather than just trying to make it pretty. I love the big rings for that reason... I have time to actaully think and ride.. not just cram movements in :)

KrazyTBMare
Oct. 10, 2010, 11:12 PM
*waves* HI STRANGER! How are things???

ACP
Oct. 10, 2010, 11:42 PM
My sister showed our horse this weekend at a schooling show and won Training Level Test 2 with a 63.9% in a seven horse class. This was their third show and sixth test, and they finally both relaxed. Only got one five, a lot of 7s and one 8. Plus a great comment on his gaits and attitude. It was the relaxation that did it.

EqTrainer
Oct. 11, 2010, 12:02 AM
I am fortunate that my mare and I are very accurate in our tests and do very well on our coeffiecents. That was how in 2008 I won Training Level and First Level Championships and 2009 I won Fall series, First Level Championships, and Year End for AA First level over 2 VERY nice WBs. My mare is an average mover, we have no lengthened trot, but we are very accurate, balanced in our canter 1 loops, great stretchy circles, steady steady steady. That has been what gets our blues for us in any test.

You are always admirably modest about your mare and your riding. What you left out is how hard you work. For years you have shown us pics of you and Layla, making steady progress. You are a beautiful, effective rider and have a true partnership with your horse, it always shines thru. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the new guy!

ec412
Oct. 12, 2010, 09:40 PM
I was the only one in the class.:lol:

Ditto! I woudl often come home from a show and everyone would congratulate me! I would have to do the shuffle and explain, I competed against myself...:)

FLeckenAwesome
Oct. 12, 2010, 09:49 PM
Hi KTM!!!

Don't worry.. I've been cyberstalking you and Layla :) And the new guy too... just don't post as much.

I'm hoping to get my baby this Spring :) :) :) Dewey's full sibling will be born then so we'll see.....


Hee hee....and yep... every time I show now and come home with a blue.. Hubbys' first question is... "But out of how many?!" Doh!

ThreeFigs
Oct. 12, 2010, 10:14 PM
My Dad asks the same thing...

Hey, it's not my fault nobody else shows up for my division!

KrazyTBMare
Oct. 12, 2010, 10:15 PM
How exciting for you! You are due for wonderful things!

My hubby will say "way to go" and Ill say "I got first out of 1! Its like first and last all in one" and he says "First is first and a blue is a blue. No one has to know"

rebeginner
Oct. 12, 2010, 11:09 PM
A friend assured me there's no shame in taking home a blue when you're the only one in the class: "You're the only one willing to get up at 4:00 a.m., braid your horse, load her in the trailer and show up for your ride time. You deserve the blue."

I accept that, though hope some day to beat a class of 20.....