Friday, November 1, 2013

Utah Dressage Society Double Champion!!

The results are official. Frisco and I earned the title of Champion in the Open Training  and Open First Level divisions with the Utah Dressage Society. 2013 was a very interesting and educational show season for us. I gave Frisco seven weeks off in the summer of 2012. Our 2013 show season started off with the Region 5 USDF/GAIG Championships in October, 2012, in Heber City, UT. Frisco and I had only been back to work for six weeks, and his last show was in May. We started out the three day weekend a little rusty and didn't have our best performances on Friday and Saturday. By Sunday, he had settled back into the routine and we had two very lovely rides, a Training Level Test 3 ride for a 70.4%, and, the USEF 4 Year Old Test for a 70.6%. We then went on to have a super show a month later at Cooper Ranch, with Hilda Gurney never scoring us lower than a 71% on our Training Level tests. The highlight of that weekend was the USEF 4 Year Old Test, where we earned a 77.2%. The trouble with showing a young horse, though, is waiting for their bodies. Frisco actually grew and developed more from 4.5 yrs. to 5.5 yrs. than I expected he would. We would have days when he felt balanced and we could school Second level. Then other days, that body would get away from him and he cantered on his nose. So we tip toed our way into First level throughout the show season, with minimal expectations. Sometimes we would get high 60s, sometimes, we'd struggle, whenever that canter got unbalanced. By the time we participated in our last show of the season, his canter was finally regaining its balance and quality, his hind end had gotten stronger, and he'd developed a much more sophisticated response to my rebalancing aids. We won a large First Level Test 3 class across all divisions at the August Millbrook Farms show. I decided to skip the Region 5 Championships in Parker, CO, in favor of attending a friend's wedding. I don't regret it, missing the opportunity to compete. The wedding was beautiful and my friends, while they would have understood my absence, appreciated my presence. Frisco appreciated the downtime, and as though to reward my patience, he is now solidly Second level and starting to school Third level. I think putting his  mind and body through the rigors of a twelve hour one way haul and a very intensive show just when he was starting to get himself organized would have only made him sore and tired.
This year-which starts in just two short weeks!-we'll start the show season with a First Level Freestyle and Second Level Test 1. I'd like to earn my USDF Freestyle Bronze Bar with Frisco, to go along with the USDF Bronze Medal Charisma helped me earn. So, I plan to continue the freestyles through the levels with Frisco. It will be a fun, new adventure for us. He really likes working to music, and so do I. I ride so much better, and he clearly appreciates it.
I'm so proud of Frisco, and thankful for the support of my husband, family and friends in this compulsive endeavor of Dressage.
Here's a picture of Frisco's papa, Fidertanz. Who does this remind you of?!