"Sort Of" recap because honestly the whole day and the days prior and following have just been 'sort of' OK - in other words, everything has felt just slightly off and I've been struggling to keep my head above water for whatever reason.
|Where did summer even go?|
So, there are your warnings, and on with the show we go :)
I'm sure I have discussed multiple times the relationship showing has with anxiety in my brain (if you're new here, it's quite the unhealthy and codependent relationship!) Non overnight shows are normally not so bad, and I find dressage shows easier than jumping/events/situations where I need to remember multiple patterns/courses.
So, a day trip to a dressage show should have been fine. Except no...we are forgetting an important piece of the puzzle anxiety-wise: actually having the time to practice and remember the dressage test. Oh, and you know, ride your horse, or pull her mane or clean tack or really be prepped in any way at all. Lack of preparation = increased anxiety. I am apparently not a spur of the moment show person.
Bridget should have been fine, as in my absence she had a couple of training rides with EC and a lot of relaxed hacking and fun things to do with the barn girls. What we didn't factor in was that her adventures would make her very, very tired. And the training rides? Actually made for an extra layer of angry "don't wanna" pony. EC really worked on getting her to carry herself more in the canter, to which B said "Oh, actually did no one tell you? I can't canter at all" :) It's all good, because if we know anything about B, it's that she dislikes things that are hard work but once she gets tired of arguing about it she's better than ever. It's almost like she's obligated to rebel first though :)
|Night before's mad grooming session. Why did I not take pics of her braids day of? She looked cute, I promise.|
So, I've set the scene.
Our test of choice was Training 3 and we opted to ride twice.
First ride through: In general B felt wiggly and stuck behind my leg and NOTHING was helping. Canter was rushy and not the best...I felt like I was struggling just to keep her in canter and on a circle. I was getting a bit panicky. Obvious errors: I had read the test wrong and didn't realize the free walk involved a trip through x. Plus, B was so 'exhausted' she broke to trot a bit early from the second canter. Verbal feedback from the judge was encouraging...trot work looked great and generally speaking we are both improved since the last time she saw us ride. Canter is coming along well, but needs to be balanced better and less on the forehand...it looked like she was dragging me along (lol, I'll take it). I would suspect this one scored somewhere in the low 60's
Second ride through: Pony was even more tired. T was beyond determined. And, I feel like it went as well as it could have given the pony I had on the day. Canter felt better, trot work was good, and I remembered where to ride in the walk. Verbal feedback was all good. Since the gaits and impulsion (plus submission) were still decidedly 'meh' for us I'm expecting a mid 60's score....it depends on whether the judge saw 'relaxed' or 'lazy' ;)
Overall, I was disappointed. Pony was not nearly as forward and straight and soft as I would like - the power was really lacking. As a rider, I had that awful useless feeling where I just didn't have the ability or tools to fix the issues. I was sad and relieved all at the same time that EC's input was basically that B didn't show up and let me down a little. I would never expect to put in our best ride ever during a dressage test, on the other hand I feel like it's equally unhelpful to have our worst ride in recent months on that day...I really was hoping for feedback based on an average day in the life!
|On Sunday, we visited Hastings Park. I picked this one because she looked like Bridget. Big surprise, she was not overly interested in racing and came last lol|
To be honest, I knew coming back from 10 days away for work and personal obligations would be tough. And really, I have few regrets - we got out there, put in some respectable work on a tough day and had some fun. In the end, that's all good.