In between all the fun stuff like finishing Stranger Things, catching up on Project Runway, and wondering if the gods are trying to send me messages via songs on the radio (seriously, if you’re on the verge of an existential crisis, nothing will push you over the edge quite so well as hearing Suit and Jacket six times in two hours), it was a very Dressage-centric weekend.
It kicked off on Saturday with a couple of tests at a show that was benefiting the local Thoroughbred rescue. They let you do whatever dressage tests you wanted for only $15 a pop, including USEA tests, so I was totally down with that. The venue was about 40 minutes from my barn and my tests were at 2:07 and 2:30, so I spent most of my morning watching TV and feeling very weird about the lack of urgency. At noon I went out and loaded him up, drove to the show, parked, got my number, and slowly got ready.
There really wasn’t anywhere flat or bigger than a 20m circle to warmup, so I did what I could and then just walked around the grounds. It was incredibly humid so Henry was miserable, but also quiet. We went in for our first test, Training A, and I felt like it was okay, but as usual he was tight in his back. I’ve really missed that test lately though… I love it way more than B for my horse. Stop using B, horse shows.
One person went in after me, but the other ride wasn’t there yet, so I offered to just go back in early. After a quick perusal of Test B in my CourseWalk app, up centerline we went again, much to Henry’s chagrin. The second test was maybe slightly less tight, but he was also grumpier and kept swinging his haunches in instead of going forward. BTW, I maintain my hatred for test B and it’s canter lengthenings on 20m circles at the middle letters (like why tho?), but it was fine. We were both pretty tired of dressage by the time we swung up centerline again and halted at the end.
Both tests scored a 63% with pretty much the same comments on both, which are nothing new. The judge thought he would be brilliant if/when he lets the tension out of his back… you and me and everyone else that’s ever worked with him, sister! The scores ranged from 5.5 for one particularly shitty transition to 8 for one particularly straight halt, with pretty much everything falling around 6.5. At least we’re… consistently average? The scoring seemed pretty on point to me.
But the most entertaining part of the day came while I was waiting for them to finish with my score sheets. I dragged Henry over to the little obstacle course that was set up behind the arenas so he could see all the “scary” stuff. There was much half-hearted snorting at first, but he gave in pretty quickly and let me drag him through all the different obstacles.
The only thing he wanted nothing to do with was the hanging, billowing curtain. Which makes zero sense because that was the most “normal” thing out there.
And I was back home by 4:30. Totally weird, to a) have so little stuff to pack, and b) be completely done in less than 5 hours. It was good to get some cheap easy time in the rectangle though, even if we didn’t exactly blow anyone away. Henry did maintain his streak of everyone thinking he’s a QH, though… two people asked what he was and seemed dubious when I said thoroughbred. Look y’all, he’s just ROUND with a big butt, okay?
And congrats to Chrissy E for winning the Two Socks Designs saddle pad giveaway!