- Bridget trailered and settled in great. Yay for sensible ponies!
- The dressage arena was marked out in those plastic chains. Given our sometimes questionable steering, I was concerned we might be dragging a bunch of plastic chain around at some point. Silver lining: I was so worried about that I forgot to worry about forgetting the test.
-Bridget warmed up ok, but really unsure and behind the leg.
- Test 1: Bridget went from lazy to 'crazy' once she realized she was all alone in the big scary arena and things felt tense and rushed. She forgot about being on the bit as well. I did nothing to correct any of it, being so concerned about the chains and basically just surviving. I felt like we were accurate, but rushed. The right lead canter began on the left lead. The walk felt good.
- Test 2 : Made a conscious effort to slow down. I felt it went better, but still very stiff and tense compared to at home.
Scores - Highlights and lowlights
- Test 1: High - 7.5 for walk and right trot circle. Low - 4 for a right lead canter circle that had nothing right about it. Remainder 6's and 7's.
- Test 2: High - 7.5's for all the walk stuff, and a couple for some of the trot. Low - 5.5 for that right lead canter. Remainder generally trending .5 higher than first run through.
Further lowlight: (New) scribe didn't realize there was a second page on eventing dressage tests and didn't fill out collective marks for myself and a few others, so our percent day ended up lacking actual percents. Highlight: I'm good with that though. It was a fun and inexpensive outing.
Judge's general written comments:
Could be rounder, good energy but less hurried (trot). Needs better balance, falling through outside aids, hurried (canter). Super! for the walk.
The judge took a couple of minutes after each ride for some verbal comments too:
- "I like this horse. She is cute! You are a well matched pair."
- "She looks quite unbalanced in the canter, she only has one speed and it's too fast! Her walk is really great, so she should have a great canter in there for you to work towards."
- "She could be rounder and bend more. She looked a bit nervous. Is this one of her first shows? Yes? Then you get two big thumbs up from me"
- "Overall, that was much better. I could see you using my feedback from the last test."
- "There were some moments there where I was Iike 'yep, these two could go somewhere with this.'"
- "You're a very brave rider for riding that canter though!"
My further thoughts:
The stuff I wasn't worried about - being on the contact, forward and straight - were the things that weren't reliable. The stuff I was worried about - getting and holding a canter on a 20m circle, those plastic chains, forgetting the test, and Bridget being lazy/behind my leg - totally not an issue. I'm happy the baby pony showed up to work and tried, and overall pretty proud of her. Even though it was far from our best work, I think the pony gave me what she could in a new and scary place and I can't ask for anything more than that.
And that last comment from the judge? NOT the feedback anyone wants to hear, I'm sure. Except me. Given my previous issues with confidence, it might just be the best thing I heard all day, possibly all week :)
Bridget is unconcerned with it all, her lowlight of the day was realizing she was tied too short to eat all the delicious hay on the ground (and yes, she is safely tied around the post rather than the rail - there were a few people tied to the same fence and some to the rails which made me nervous, next time maybe we'll tie to the trailer)