Saturday, September 15, 2012

So You Think You Can Dressage Part I

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:

Kristin and Zoe scored a brilliant 73% in their Third Level 3 class on Friday, smoking the competition. Unfortunately, they didn't count Friday's scores in the tally for High-Point. Shari and Isaac had a rough weekend too, but came out on top by earning a 66% and their final qualifying score for First Level. Unfortunately, Bastian's partner in Chestnut Dressage Crime couldn't make it to the show do to a mild leg injury, Bastian is definitely looking forward to hanging out with Leo at Regionals and I am looking forward to hanging out with Shannon, so fingers are crossed that everything is better on their end!

Its just 3 and 1/2 weeks until we return for Regionals. I am very excited about going and am working very hard to give Bastian the best ride that I can. This is our moment to shine and I want all the focus to be on him, the phenomenal, awesomest, most fantastical horse in the world!

Well, this wraps up So You Think You Can Dressage Part I. Part II will follow shortly and involves the announcement of my first Major sponsor, a look back at how Bastian and I came to be and information on how you can help to make my goal of becoming selected for the 2014 WEG Para-Equestrian team a reality.

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