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Some Days Are Better Than Others

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  • Some Days Are Better Than Others

    On the bright side, you only have to ride your horse's first dressage test ever, his first time in a dressage arena ever, and his first time in an indoor arena once. In our case it was ALL AT ONCE!

    A little background. I've done dressage on and off for a few years, but have only recently decided to focus on it. My horse has been doing it for about six weeks. He's 14 and wonderful, but has been doing dressage for about six weeks. He did a year of SS hunters and HUS two years ago, spent the last two years as a (Western!) trail horse, and until he was 11, he was a working ranch horse. So contact and bending are largely new to him. He had some training when he was a hunter, but he was mostly the beginner SS horse, so not a lot. When I got him, I worked him seriously for three months and then leased him out when I got a job in North Carolina. I just got him back in May.

    So in we go. Get to the door of the indoor, slam on the brakes. Get inside, see the white dressage arena-eyes bug out and he starts backing up. Then there were the flowers. I finally got him into the dressage arena, he wouldn't go within 6 feet of the arena fence or ten feet of judge. He tried to run out at A. But he did the test and didn't do anything too stupid. For my part, I managed not to laugh too hard until after we exited. It was, needless to say, my worst score ever, by far. A couple of the 4's were darn generous.

    The second test was better-only the judge's golf cart was scary. He was still a putz, but much better, and got some good comments and even one 7 to go with some 5's. It's a learning process for sure.

    But I wish I had the first test on video. It must have been hysterical watching him do the big snorty spaghetti-spook at every single letter when he saw the flower pots. The whole thing was so typically him that I had to laugh.

  • #2
    Congratulations! You're right, you only every have one first time! Now you know what to expect!

    We also had our first yesterday. No 7s for us, he went around the entire test like this:


    and sloooooooowwwwwwww. Pokey Smokey indeed. After having a fire breathing dragon warm-up that prompted me to take off my spurs, I couldn't get him moving!

    Do you have any pictures? I'd love to see them!


    • #3
      Good Job!


      That looks terrific, almost normal dressage look! Your form is really good. you don't show that you were working hard. Even his ears look good. He is very cute and what a tail. Where were you?


      At least he didn't jump out of the arena or go for a gallop. I always start with the goals of
      A) stay in the Arena
      B) don't run over the judge
      C) remember to breathe for both of us

      Everything else is icing on the cake.

      Is your boy a standard bred or have I gotten his breeding mixed up?
      Intermediate Riding Skills


      • #4
        Henry,you've got a great attitude! Congrats on getting the first one out of the way. It's all up from there.

        Sounds like you handled a challenge quite well. I too would like to see pictures if you have any!

        Pat yourself on the back!
        "Aye God, Woodrow..."


        • Original Poster

          No pictures, unfortunately. I kind of wish I had video, might have won some cash on the funny home video show!

          I'm proud of my boy-he was terrified of everything in that ring and trusted me enough to do the test anyway. The second time was much better and I'm going to trailer up to that farm a few times to work in the indoor. I'm going to buy some fake flowers at the dollar store and put them all over the place at his home barn. Next time will be better.

          Actually, he's a grade QH (no papers). I LOVE OTSB's, and will probably get another one in the future.

          Here's a picture of my cutie-I think he looks like an overgrown pony.


          • #6
            Your horse will act stupid for more than just one show. Working some with him in a "decorated" ring, and working some in an indoor ring will help. But, what you also need to do is set up a "judge's box," or something like one, and actually have someone stand in it while you work him. He needs to be accustom to having that at the end of the ring. It would also help you to arrive at a show before it actually begins, and walk him around the outside of the ring. You are not permited to ride in the ring, but you can certain let him to the "look see" before the show begins.


            • #7
              Oh, he's adorable! Overgrown ponies are the best


              • #8
                Henry, I can't get the link to your pictures, maybe because I'm not on Facebook. But congratulations!

                Ambrey, you too! Where is that, Sycamore Grove? Cute horse!!

                My first show was at my home barn, and I didn't think my horse would know he was at a horse show, so I didn't lunge. Buck off at F.
                2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

                A helmet saved my life.


                • #9
                  THP, it's at Sycamore Trails in SJC. I was concerned about staying on at first, then I was more concerned about keeping him moving! Show nerves for the loss

                  Henry, at least you didn't get bucked off at F! Staying on is good!


                  • #10
                    Sometimes when a link doesn't work, you can cut the link out of the email and paste it in the the address of your browser.
                    Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children. Life is the other way round.
                    David Lodge


                    • #11
                      That worked, woodcat, thanks.

                      Here's a picture of my cutie-I think he looks like an overgrown pony.

                      "Who you lookin' at?"
                      2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

                      A helmet saved my life.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheHorseProblem View Post
                        That worked, woodcat, thanks.

                        Here's a picture of my cutie-I think he looks like an overgrown pony.

                        "Who you lookin' at?"
                        That is so cute!
                        You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                        1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                        • #13
                          Henry, we should form a clique "riders with spunk" or something like that... I've had some similar experiences with my mare (who knows better!) and the best feeling is at the end of the test, OK, she was being goofy, but I stayed on!
                          You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                          1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"