Monday, July 29, 2013

Underwater Dressage

Things have been going great with Bastian! We went to the NODA Schooling show and ran through our Second Level 3 test on July 7th and he was fantastic. The weather was less than lovely and by the end of the day the humidity had returned with a vengance. We were both a little tired, but we pulled it off and scored a 63% and that was with missing our first simple change three times-it and we did it all with a front left shoe. Yup, the Wednesday before the show I showed up to ride and there he was being all cute and shoeless. Of course, it was a holiday week so finding a farrier proved to be impossible. He wasn't off so I figured I would go to the show and if he seemed footsore we just wouldn't show. Lucky for us, it all worked out and I got to run through my test before our recognized show.

We didn't finally get a shoes put on until Thursday July 18th :( and he managed to pull his other front shoe as well. With the weather being as wet as it was and him being due I wasn't overly surprised, but it did make schooling for the show difficult. We needed to practice, but I was worried about possibly causing soreness by asking for too much, so we did abbreviated schooling.

Anywho....despite the torrential downpours on Friday and Saturday at the NODA Recognized show and needing Floaties in order to survive our tests, Bastian was again a champ. I could not be happier with our performances (I mean, yes I could be happier if I had ridden better and been more correct, yada yada yada), but he was awesome. We rode our First 3 test first and it was going quite nicely until our second canter loopy, I half-halted and collected too much at X without enough leg to back it up and he did a beautiful trot transition. Complete rider error. We ended up with a 64% and our second qualifying score for Regionals. Yay!

On to our Second Level Test. He was awesome!!! We scored a 65% and got both of our simple changes to counter canter. We have some stuff to work on, just getting more flow in the test and more consistency in our collected gaits, but I am very proud of us. We took second in the class and it was our first qualifying score for championships. Woo-hoo!

Sunday at least was sunny! Our Para-Test was up first and while it rode better than it did in California (we got all of our leads!) I still managed to make some costly mistakes and we just are not there yet. We scored a 59%. It a tough test. In Bastian's and my own best interest I'm not planning on showing the test again until the schooling shows over the winter. I hate having to watch someone struggle through a test they aren't ready for-it makes everyone stressed-the rider, the horse, the judge, trainers, coaches, etc. So I'm going to avoid that road. I feel quite confident that by staying on the training schedule I'm on, we'll be ready by this winter and in time for Wellington in the Spring. But B is generally very relaxed and happy in the ring, so I don't want to jeopardize that by stressing about attempting to do stuff we just are not ready for. We are pretty comfortable at second level and I feel that our scores reflect the fact that we are showing where we should be showing.

Next up was our Second 3 test again. I thought it rode so much better than Saturday's test, it just flowed better and we were more consistent. We scored a 63%, our judge was a bit pickier today, all of her comments were spot on and are actually some simple stuff that I just need to focus on and our scores will start to go up rather quickly. So we got our second qualifying score and another second place. Best of all, our Saturday score earned us the Reserve Champ AA Second Level award. (Five year old moment-I got a big pretty ribbon!!! Woot!) Not too shabby for our big move up to Second :)

We're head to Championships in Lexington, VA in October. I like the facilities there and I'm hoping that I can get in touch with Bastian's breeder and she can come and watch our classes, I think that she would like to see her handsome baby all growed up and showing Second Level. And, we have our Second Level scores towards are Bronze Medal. Woot! I don't plan on showing Third Level until next spring. My original goal was to show this fall, but with having to concentrate on perfecting our Para-test, Third Level is going on the back burner (basically my flying changes are going on the back burner since everything else in the Para Test is Third Level) But if we can pull it off, we'll be showing Third next year and hopefully finishing up my Third Level Requirements for my Bronze Medal.

Next weekend is the WPDA Summer Sizzler at Grand Haven. We're doing strictly Second Level and since the pressure is off to get my qualifying scores I can have a bit more fun, we're doing Second One and Second Three. Here's hoping that it doesn't rain that weekend, it would be awesome to have to slop through the mud and slide through the corners....

Here is the video that Donna took of us from the NODA show: Thank you Donna!!!