Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mission Accomplished (Mostly)

This weekend, I headed back to Grand Haven with Bastian for the WPDA Summer Sizzler Dressage Show.  I only showed one class each day, First Level 4 hoping to get my first Qualifying Score for Regionals. 

Donna took this awesome picture of us warming up before our class on Saturday.  Don't we look like the real deal?  He is such a handsome lil' boy ♥♥♥♥♥
So, I was hoping to not only redeem myself from last show's First Level Test 4 debaucle, but also eek out a qualifying score, which would be a 62%.  He warmed up beautifully and I felt pretty good about our test.  I mean how could I not improve from a 50%??? 

(Anyone who wants to see that fabulous test, I do have it on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5VNGJB1MiM)

Well, long story short, we were successful!  Our score was a 64% and we placed second in a class of about 13 competitors.  I cried.  I really did.  I was so proud of Bastian and I really held it together for most of the test.  We actually flowed from one movement to the next and only had a few baubles.  We need to develop a trot lengthening and I need to work more on our leg yields, but compared to the last test our leg yields were AWESOME, especially our leg yield left.  Bastian's canter work was impeccable and had I not over collected after our first lengthen, he would not have broke.  Otherwise he was steady, rhythmic and balanced (that was the judges favorite comment I think on our test ☺)
We scored 7's on almost every canter movement and we got a 6 on our leg yield left and the part that made me happiest: a 7 on rider.  Seriously.  After really getting knocked at the past two shows on my legs it made me feel really good. 

So here is our test:

So we're halfway there.  I needed a 62% and got a 64%.  Yay.  Now we're headed to the NWPAHA Summer Classic Open Dressage Show in Harlansburg, PA.  That is pretty much my last chance to get my second qualifying score.  I think we can do it.  I've got two chances at the show, Saturday and Sunday. 

The best part about this last show is that the grounds are just about 15 minutes from my house, which is always nice after a day of showing, no long drive home. 

My second test at the WPDA Summer Sizzler was on Sunday.  I thought it rode better, both leg yields were good, especially my leg yield right, we really hit it.  We still didn't have our trot lengthens, but he tried.  He wanted to stretch and make his stride bigger even though he didn't accomplish it.  Something clicked between us and he finally understood either what I was asking or I finally asked the right way!  Either way it was a great feeling.  Our only real bobble was our left lead canter depart at C, I got unbalanced and he picked up his right lead, but we got it fixed within 2 strides.  After that the canter was great. 

But the judge must not have agreed. :(  My score was a 58%, which is still better than a 50%, but not as good as a 64%..... I still haven't seen the actual scores and comments, but apparently I really got knocked for my legs.  Which is starting to get frustrating.  So far all but two of the judges I have had negative comments on the excessive movement in my legs.  Which while I understand why they say what they say, does not make it any less frustrating.  I am trying my darnedest to keep my legs as still as possible, but well, when you don't have control of those muscles there is only so much you can do. 

So finally I have gotten in touch with the USEF Classifiers for Para-Equestrians.  I am travelling to Philadelphia, PA on September 3rd to be classified.  I'm hoping that after this I'll be given a pass on my legs and *hopefully* be permitted to carry a whip at Regionals.  I am fairly reliant on my whip to let Bastian know that I actually mean to do something and that it wasn't just one of the leg movements he should ignore.  I'm very happy competing in the regular dressage classes and just want the judges to be aware that I'm not excessively kicking my horse or have overly floppy legs. 

Either way, lots of exciting stuff coming up in the next few weeks, not to mention that I have to go back to my real job next week.  Good bye summer vacation!