Friday, August 26, 2011

North Run Farm Schooling Show

Always with the drama.

Early Saturday morning, I headed out to the farm buzzing with excitement for Royal's and my First Dressage Show Ever. We had parked the trailer in a new spot so I decided to see if I could get it out before I loaded Royal, and it turns out that I couldn't. I cranked the steering wheel all the wheel and still couldn't turn it sharp enough to miss the trees. So I had to go left, drive down to the barn and try to turn around amongst the tree. It started off well, until I scrapped the front of the truck against a telephone pole. Oops. I was able to get the rig turned around and parked it in the driveway. I put some hay in the haynet, got Royal, put his shipping boots on (he wasn't too excited about that), loaded him up, and off we went.

About 2 miles down the road, I hear a "pop". Wondering what was broken, I pulled over, turned on the emergency flashers, and checked the trailer. Everything seemed fine in the trailer (although Royal was kind of confused as to why we were stopping) so I headed back to the truck cab. I then noticed the blinker light hanging out, still blinking just fine. I figured it must have popped out when I hit the telephone pole. But, as it was still working, I kept going.

We arrived at the barn safe and sound. I left Royal in the trailer to check it, then got him out so we could explore. The barn had a nice indoor where the show was taking place, a nice barn, a big outdoor arena with lots of jumps, and many horses that Royal wanted to say "hi" to. I let him trot around the outdoor for a while, then tied him back up at the trailer so I could watch a test. Poor Royal was all by himself, as all the other horses were in the barn. But he coped fine. After watch a beautiful palomino doing a Training Level test, I saddled up Royal and we headed to the outdoor to warm up. He did so EXTREMELY well, so we headed to the barn to wait our turn.

We did Intro Test C and got a 57.000%, which I think is pretty good for a pair of rookies. We started off well, then Royal got a bit frazzled at the first canter circle and took a while to settle down. We got point marked off for being above the bit and tense, but the judge was very encouraging. She said Royal was a nice horse who needs to learn to relax. Which was nothing new, but I still appreciated the feedback. We loaded back up, drove home, and I put the trailer in a different spot. One that will be (hopefully) easier to get out of.

Royal says "Dressagin' is hard work. I need to replenish my calories."

The big thing I took from the experience is that I need to make sure Royal is familiar with the dressage test. He got frazzled because he was confused and had no idea what to expect. So in preparation for Steepleview, we doing the BN Test A every single ride. We've done it three sessions in a row so far and he's starting to get it. And so am I, although I still get somewhat confused. I really want it etched in both our brains so even show nerves can't get it out.

Plus, it's fun to be on the same page. And a lot easier for both horse and rider.

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