Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Practice Practice Practice!

This past weekend was full of success for the B-monster and I. I had not one but two fabulous lessons last week. We worked on our collected canter and just getting him to really really collect for a few strides then pushing him back out, we learned how to properly execute a turn on the haunches and we started schooling those, and we worked on keeping his haunches and shoulders where they are supposed to be and maintaining the correct bend. :)

Then on Saturday I headed to Equine Affaire to do some awesome shopping. I did pretty good and while I didn't find a double bridle, I managed to snag some great deals. I also managed to snag a coveted Cosequin bucket. I've wanted a cosequin bucket for years.....I had to stand in line for about 15 minutes and get my picture taken with one of their sponsored riders and then post it on facebook. Totally worth it ;)

And speaking of sponsors....I will soon be announcing a new one! Yay. Bastian loves his sponsors, they keep him looking snazzy (Thank you Hastilow Competition Saddlerly), and feeling healthy (Thank you Dr. Susan Wilcox/Steel Valley Spay/Neuter). I must say that my Hastilow Saddle looked pretty spiffy this weekend all cleaned up and what not. I have to say that one of my favorite things about my saddle is that it truly fits my horse-I don't have to use any extra pads in there to make it fit or to make his back more comfortable.

Any why, you might ask, was my saddle all cleaned up this weekend. Well not only is that right way to take care of your tack (I'm soooooo bad about cleaning my tack regularly!) but we went to a schooling dressage show this weekend at Chagrin Valley Farms. It was our first time riding the Para Team and Individual tests. I had run through the movements before in their approximate order, but it was really the first time doing it in an actual correct sized arena. Both tests rode much better than I was anticipating. I was concerned about the 10 meter collected canter onto centerline into counter canter move, but it went really well and wasn't nearly as tiny as I was expecting. We scored just over 60% on both tests. I thought my first test (the Team test) rode better, but I was on my way to a better score on my Individual test until we lost our canter between D and B. (I half halted too much and didn't back it up with enough leg) so we scored a 4 on that movement and on the transition down at M, I just kept my trot and went on with my test. Had we not broken I probably could have eeked out another 1 or 2 percent. Oh well, live and learn!

We were both tired by the time we were done, but I was very happy with Bastian's effort. The judge's comments were true, I only disagreed with one-I thought our last center line was much better than our first center line, but I wasn't the one at the judges table. For us it was a great check up. It confirmed for me that we are on the right path and that if I continue to work on what I am working on we can only go up from here! I'm very excited to go to California! (if only they would post the prize list....its killing me! lol) and even more excited for the NODA shows in July. Our next stop is the NODA schooling show at Grand Haven, we'll be doing the Team Test again and hopefully doing a run through of my free style.

The weather here is starting to improve and Bastian is adjusting to living in his lovely new home quite nicely. Here's hoping the weather is lovely tomorrow afternoon and I can ride outside!