-Survived being potential bear food
-Lived like a homeless person successfully
-Competed at a 'real' dressage show and survived
-Met all sorts of lovely people
-Nearly collided with an Olympian and her horse on my pony.
-Nailed the braids by day 3
-Did not panic when things got weird
-Took pony swimming!
-Even won ribbons and prizes!
|Yep, posting this pic again. I'm still so excited about them!|
|Show photos! I tried to pick photos that show how things "felt". There were better moments and many worse ones too, that these, but these felt the most representative of the weekend :)|
-Schooling show (and eventing dressage) marks. Is it just me, or are they wildly different than 'real' shows? I get that they're trying to be encouraging and eventing dressage is I guess it's own thing, but myself, I'd prefer consistency between it all. My tests this weekend felt fairly marked, and I was happy with them. But, I'd be happier if I had a benchmark from last year to compare them to. I don't, because honestly, I feel like the previous shows we've done to date were comparatively way generous in their scoring.
|This looks how the canter work generally felt. Midge was a bit tight in her top line, and I was working really (too) hard.|
-While I can't afford (and don't actually wish to) embrace the entire dressage queen lifestyle - dressage is my happy place. I love eventing, and won't be giving up my jumping lessons any day soon, but watching even the intermediate eventing levels I'm like "Wow, cool, but no thanks...I'm good". Upper levels? I can't even anymore, just in case someone dies. Upper level dressage? I'm like "PLEASE, this is so cool, TEACH ME NOW I WANT TO LEARN HOW TO TRAIN MY HORSE THOSE THINGS IMMEDIATELY thank you!"
-Midge was a superstar, but IDK, I don't think this is her happy place. Just because she could theoretically do this at higher levels, doesn't mean she wants to, or even should. Our scores got progressively lower as the weekend went on, and she was actually a bit sticky at the ring gate, which has never happened before. You should have seen her perk up when I took her out on the XC field after and the look of complete bliss when the kids at the swimming spot were loving on her. Not so in our tests, she just sort of went out and did the thing, businesslike and sort of 'meh'. This is going to be a long thought process, and an emotional one too. My heart wants to do this thing with Midge as far as we can take it...but perhaps that's selfish of me. Looking around this past weekend, the 'real' dressage horses out there weren't just talented, they LOVED their jobs, and many were excited to show off on the same level the event horses get out on XC.
|"Where are the jumps?!"|
|"OK fine, we dressage now."|
-Whatever the future holds, I'm proud of the pony for all she did this weekend. I feel very lucky to have a pony I can take to all these shows and events, allowing me to participate in those worlds. Most of all though, I appreciate that she's sensible and kind and such a good partner in crime. I think the horse or pony that can go out there and do a little bit of everything, maybe not always well, but well enough to have fun with, is a highly underrated thing. This one's worth her weight in gold, as far as I'm concerned.
|Please Midge, would it kill you to stop bracing? And yet, she's so cute :)|