Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wairarapa Dressage Ribbon Day

So neither of the horses I'm riding had been out since the new year and it that sort of a situation you never really know what you are going to get except that I knew that Tsar would be naughty. Because he just is. The last time I rode at a dressage day would have been around 10 years ago and I remember being totally bewildered by the marking, in that the test when my horse was electric and tense he marked a lot better than when he was relaxed and workmanlike. Obviously, I have improved in my riding in general since then because the marking was still a little bewildering but in a much better way. Charlie was in level 0 and Tsar in level 1.

It started poorly when Charlie stood halfway in the float and dug his toes in and we had a twenty minute stand off while I waited for reinforcements, then he got bored and walked on which was good. I need to spend a day on this, because Tsar basically self loads. Charlie is used to an angle load and not so comfortable in the straight load. Then I landed chasing my tail so that I only got on Charlie just as the rider before me was starting. He had no warm-up and so was quite tense but it was only a walk trot test so it wasn't too bad. By the last corner he had relaxed some and did a lovely halt.

I then had an hour to get Tsar up and by the time he had a lunge and I got on and went down to the arenas I had about 7 minutes warming up time, he was quite tense and we bronced across the warm up at one point. I  had put a drop noseband on him so I had more control and it made him stiller in his head carriage but more inclined to buck and not go forward in protest. Still he did a relatively good test, though my expectations weren't that high. I was happy though that he gave me a few moments that felt really good, when I could really sit into his canter and just be soft and I knew he would stay with me. For a horse that can be a bit smart, that hadn't been out in public since November, and who didnt get enough warm up he was spectacular. So the morning results were a 54% for Charlie which was more than expected and a 60% for Tsar (about 6th place) which I was really surprised by, but then he is a bit of a swanky dude.

Then I had to wait for like four days (that is 2 1/2 hours) until the afternoon tests. Tsar had a decent warm up and was happier in is standard caversson noseband and I could put a spur on. He was awesome, warmed up really nicely, though was a little unsteady in the contact which was my fault because I got tense, trying to not upset him when he felt so good, instead of actually riding. And I forgot to give the rein for 3-5 strides in one movement, but he has a good free walk which always helps. I was thnking he would score similar to the morning and he did under one judge, but was 68% under the second judge, so I ended up with 64% and second place!! OMG at dressage! Go Tsar you little beauty! He even got a seven for paces, and a nine for his centerline! Loving it. Did I mention it absolutely poured in our warm up and we were both absolutely soaked to the skin? Good pony!

Charlie was the last ride and got on with about twenty minutes to warm in and he disgraced himself in the warm up, shying, reefing and bucking so I put him to work until a mother came over and told me to go away while her kid did her test because she was nervous and only ten. Cue walking for seven minutes which actually helped him relax some and I figured out it was the loud speaker freaking him out, causing the tucked tail scoot and buck. Once he got into the arena and had a job he was much better, he was late in both his canter transitions but started to show some work of the quality I get at home from him so thats good. His owner was rapt with some of the work he did, despite his warm-up. He scored a 58% and ended up 6th so I culdn't be happier because at the end of the day both horses gave me moments of good feeling and they both improved and you cant get better than that

1 comment:

  1. Well done! Would love to see some pics of your boys in action! Sounds lovely.