Monday, September 17, 2012
As promised, here is Part II of the "So You Think You Can Dressage" Saga. :) The first order of business is to welcome Hastilow Competition Saddlery as my first official sponsor! They've helped me to trick out my ride with a Hastilow Adjustable Concept Dressage Elevation Saddle I am super excited about this (I mean who isn't excited about a new saddle!) The Elevation is built to be completely adjustable, which will be great as Bastian continues to change through his back and develop more and more topline. Its built on a Bio-Kinetic Tree that employs Simatree technology, this means the tree is laterally flexible providing more comfort for both the horse and rider. It also features 3 different panel types based on your horses build as well as an adjustable gullet, ergonomic knee block, a deep seat and is wool flocked. If I haven't convinced you yet, head over to their website to check out more information and to look at the other high quality saddles they offer. They are also providing me with a lovely new bridle. Thank you Hastilow Saddlery!! I haven't owned a Hastilow in several years, but I had both a dressage and jumping saddle when I was in College and loved riding in them both. Bastian was measures for his new equipment and now we are just anxiously awaiting their arrival. He doesn't even know how much more awesome its going to be. The saddle I currently ride in is okay, it doesn't fit him poorly, but it doesn't fit him well either. It gets the job done. I can't wait to feel how much better he'll go in his new saddle. I'm still in need of sponsors and help! This is only the beginning of the journey ;P I am selling polo shirts and saddle pads, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in ordering anything! I will have photos soon...just ordered a proto-type the other day. I'm hoping to begin riding with Missy Ransehousen in October and begin full time training with Kristin in either December or January so that we are ready to rock the Para-Dressage world in 2013!!! So, you're probably asking yourself, how did an crazy eventer type like me end up riding Para-Dressage? Well, here's our story.... This picture is the from the day I bought Bastian. Ain't he a cutie!
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Bastian and I have begun a a brand new chapter of our Dressage career. We are officially Second Level competitors. It was far from the illustrious beginning that I hoped for, but it was all rider error and errors I don't intend to make next time. Our final score was a 51% I went off course twice during the canter work in the test, I made a poor choice about missing our right lead depart which led to me becoming quite frazzled and then botching the remainder of the test, I wasn't able to recollect ourselves to the needed level, we recollected to Training Level horse instead of Second Level horse. So after the 2 for our right lead canter depart and the 2 for our 10 meter circle at S, we scored some 4's and some 5s. The 2's given for the depart and the circle were generous as there was never a canter depart and we "walked" our circle. So thank you Ms. Freeman for your kind 2s! lol I would like to add that Margaret Freeman is an excellent judge, she nailed us on all sorts of things, but they were all correct. It was a bit tough to stomach when I read my first test (First 1) but by my second level test I knew that it was simply fact and each and every comment was true. It was odd having all three of my tests judged by the same judge all weekend, but it was also nice to have one person's opinion three times and to try and improve on that one person's comments. I know because I've done it and because I have seen other people do it, we read the judges comments and we wonder how much brandy they added to their coffee that morning because we just can't see how our little Muffin didn't score better because that was the best 20 meter stretchy circle EVER. Competition in Kentucy was tough. And amazing. I got to ride at THE Kentucky Horse Park. My little champion was stabled just outside of the "Big Barn" and its Aisle of Champions. He was a bit looky on Thursday, just taking everything in, but he handled it all so well! There is so much going on and to take in, he's never been in such a busy environment. I put our spring eventing training into action and whenever I got nervous because I thought Bastian might look at something or spook I put my leg on and imagined galloping cross country at Stonegate and Erie Hunt and Saddle Club. This really helped at the canter because he wanted to get stuck behind my leg a few times. The weather was horrid on Saturday, cold and rainy. They ended up delaying the start of the show for an hour, so my ride times got bumped from 8:56 and 5:34 to 9:56 and 6:34. It was one looooong day! My first test went well, I scored a 65% and took first, later in the day I had Bastian more collected, but we ended up behind the vertical one too many times and came away with a 62% and third place. Our First Place Prize: