Sunday, Jun. 9, 2024

A Good Day At The Schooling Show

We host schooling shows at my place for a few reasons. One, it's great exposure for the farm. Two, it’s a way of giving back to the community that supports us as professional riders. Mostly, they’re a ton of fun, and a lovely opportunity for people to try their hand at showing for the first time without diving in head first, school a young horse, or try and move up a level.

Yesterday’s was no exception, and the riders all were courteous, on time, low stress and respectful of our facility. How perfect is that?

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We host schooling shows at my place for a few reasons. One, it’s great exposure for the farm. Two, it’s a way of giving back to the community that supports us as professional riders. Mostly, they’re a ton of fun, and a lovely opportunity for people to try their hand at showing for the first time without diving in head first, school a young horse, or try and move up a level.

Yesterday’s was no exception, and the riders all were courteous, on time, low stress and respectful of our facility. How perfect is that?

My clients all had really good rides, though one of my working students took an extremely perfect client horse for his first ever dressage class, who then proceeded to very quietly and politely jump out of the ring. Twice! It was pretty hilarious, but it appears we need to spend a little more time in the little white arena fence, and maybe work on some outside aids. Oh well!

My posse was good. Cleo and I did the I2 for the first time, which is a really twisty test in the piaffe-passage and walk tours. She’s still not 100 percent sure I’m serious when I say, “No, seriously, vacation’s over and get your arse underneath you,” so there were some lackluster collected moments, and we totally hashed the ones, but everything else was 7, 8, so it ended up a 65 percent. There’s always hope!

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Ella was a genius. The trotwork just floated, the sequence changes were spectacular, and she made it through the whole test without collapsing from fatigue. She still flattens in the walk, I’m sure out of one part tension, one part preservation, so I have to figure out how to keep that dynamic and uphill, but it was fine, obedient, not lateral like she sometimes gets with her huge overstride. The canter pirouettes left something to be desired, but they weren’t so sloggy as they’ve been, nor did she try and slam on the hand brake. The exercises I’ve been schooling are paying off. And she did get a little sucked back in the contact in the canter, but it wasn’t dreadful. All really, really good progress for 67.89 percent, and I thought that was a tough number, so yay!

The superstar of the day was, to my surprise, Midge. Midge’s track record in schooling our musical freestyle has been lackluster—he’s starting to learn the music, and he takes over pretty badly in the canter work. He’s also outgrowing the tempo a little, especially at canter. I’ve improved the gait so much, made it so much scopier and floatier, that the canter music seems rushed now. And to top it all off, we were performing in my indoor, with my super Attwood Equestrian Surfaces footing, which makes Midge bounce even more. So there were some ahead-of-music issues, and some not-to-music issues, but the walk and trot were spot-freaking-on, and he was a really quiet and well-mannered boy. I had so much fun! And the judge clearly did to, for a 75.80 percent. Whee!

We leave for a recognized show at Morven Park on Friday, so it’s more show prep this week. Midge is going to canter politely, Cleo is going to have more giddyup in the hind leg department, and Ella is going to attempt to learn how to canter pirouette and breathe simultaneously. No guarantees on anything, but I’m confident a difference can be made in a few days. Or, you know, not.

LaurenSprieser.com
Sprieser Sporthorse

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