Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Weekend show, Las Vegas Dressage Spring Fling I: Judge Louise Koch.
I rode Second level Tests 3 & 4 on Saturday(59.767 & 59.763), and Second level Test 4(62.380) on Sunday. We earned respectable scores, not as high as I'd hoped, but, that's showing. I did learn a lot, and I did realize that my work the past month on getting the canter straighter had paid off when the comment from the judge on our left medium canter on Sunday was "straight". YAHOO!!! We actually earned 7s on our medium canters Sunday. That's very good for us. One of these shows, I'll put together all the things we did right at each show into one amazing ride. The judge was kind enough to allow questions during her break on Sunday, if we were done showing. She explained to the group of us standing there that we all needed to develop more impulsion, but KEEP the half halt coming through. She suggested to ride the flying changes with the thought of medium canter in the change. She challenged us to ride a medium canter to collected canter, then flying change. The group standing there were all amateurs, riding Third level, except myself. I'm familiar with the movement of medium canter across the diagonal to collected canter/flying change, in much of the upper level tests, but, I have known that will not be an easy feat. So, more work ahead. I also realized that I do not breath nearly as clearly in the show ring as I do at home, and that makes it very hard for Charisma to hear me. Judge Koch pointed that out to us that the horses are used to us breathing when we ride, but when we sit stiff as a board, concerned about our equitation, for a show, the horse is very confused because now they can't hear us and all they feel is this rigid board in the saddle. So, I applied that today in my ride. I normally do think about my breathing, I've always taught the horses to come back from a simple exhale. But today, I made a point of breathing as though I were in yoga class. As usual, we often know what to do, but, fail to do it to the extent needed. We are often too timid, afraid to make a mistake. I promise your horse will forgive you, if you make a mistake in an effort to help yourself or the horse, because they do understand when we are trying, and they will in turn try for us.